Join the U.S. Fire Service in honoring the lives of 79 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2015 and 33 firefighters who died in previous years during the 35th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 9.
The service begins at 10:00 a.m. (ET) at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland and is open to the public. During the service, a bronze plaque bearing the names of the fallen will be officially added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. These firefighters will also be remembered in a special Candlelight Service on Saturday, October 8 at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
Although the number of firefighters honored this year is higher than in recent years, the number of line-of-duty deaths that occurred in 2015 is actually lower. The increase reflects the new ruling that Public Safety Officer Benefits recognize deaths caused by illnesses from 9/11 as line-of-duty. This year, the names of 22 FDNY members who died before 2015 and two who died in 2015 from 9/11-related illnesses will be added to the Memorial.
“The Federal Government conducted a thorough review to ensure that deaths related to 9/11 illnesses can now be recognized as line-of-duty deaths, and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is very pleased with this decision,” said Chief Dennis Compton, Chairman of the NFFF Board of Directors.
Just prior to Memorial Weekend, leaders of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus will help launch the annual tribute. They will present 112 American flags flown over the U.S. Capitol to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). This ceremony will occur on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, September 28 at 2:00 p.m. (ET). The flags will be escorted by the honor guard to the National Fire Academy and flown over the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. They will then be on display at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel until being presented to the survivors during the Memorial Service.
“Firefighters possess an extraordinary blend of courage and compassion which allows them to willingly face tremendous risks to help those in need,” said Chief Compton. “Each fall, we gather to reflect on the sacrifices of those who died in the line of duty and to let their families, friends and co-workers know they will never be forgotten.”
More than 5,000 people, including families, friends, members of Congress, Administration officials and firefighters are expected to attend on Sunday. Firefighter Honor Guards and Pipe & Drum units from across the U.S. will participate in this national remembrance.
NFFF provides live satellite feed and streaming of ceremonies along with video of events for downloading courtesy of VISTA Worldlink and WUSA9.com. For a complete list of fallen firefighters being honored and a widget to display their information on your website go to firehero2023.wpengine.com. There you will also find Memorial Weekend streaming information, videos, photos, and satellite coordinates.
The annual tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration and is possible through the generous support from Motorola Solutions, Department of Justice, State Farm Insurance Companies, Tyco, VFIS, Provident and the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists.