National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Resources for Families and Departments
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Lowering the American Flag

Did you know that the law requires the American flag be lowered in tribute on only a few days each year? Quite appropriately, one of these days is the observance of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.

On October 16, 2001, President George W. Bush approved legislation requiring the American flag to be lowered to half-staff on all Federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters. Public Law 107-51 requires this action to occur annually in conjunction with observance of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.

Let your local media know that American flags across the country will be lowered on Sunday, October 12, 2014. This includes the U.S. Capitol and the White House, as well as buildings in your local community.

Remember to lower the American flags at your home, fire department, and business. Encourage your local community to follow the Federal Government's example. When you lower your flag this year, you will recognize the brave men and women who died protecting their communities from natural and manmade emergencies and disasters and those who carry on the proud tradition.

You may also want to ask your state and local officials to include lowering the flag in a proclamation recognizing the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sound the Sirens

Long before there were telephones and radios in use in America, fire departments utilized the telegraph to receive fire alarms from those once familiar red fire alarm boxes that stood on practically every street corner of our Nation's cities.

When a firefighter fell in the line of duty, the Fire Alarm Office, the forerunner of today's computerized Fire Communications Centers, would "tap out" a special signal, "Five-Five-Five" (5-5-5), over the telegraph fire alarm circuits which went to all station houses.

Done for the purpose of notification, and as a sign of honor and respect, such symbolism has been a long-honored fire service tradition which still continues in some cities today.

Should your agency wish to participate, on Sunday, October 12, 2014 at noon, many stations across the country will sound their sirens in honor of the fallen firefighters. Please notify your community ahead of time if you will join in this tradition.

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