Since the early days of the fire service, bells have been used as a way to summon firefighters to a station, communicate the type of emergency or announce the end of a shift. When a firefighter died in the line of duty, a special sequence of five bells was tapped. The tolling of bells is still a tradition to honor the fallen during funerals and memorial services for firefighters.
You can be part of a national tradition to honor the memories of firefighters who died in the line of duty and show your support for their survivors. Join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters. This poignant tribute is part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, October 7-8, in Emmitsburg, MD.
As the Memorial Service begins on Sunday, October 8, the bells at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel will chime. Local remembrances can occur any time between October 6 and 8, and can be a thoughtful moment of silence, a special reading or tolling a ceremonial bell by members of the local fire department. Suggestions for tributes that others have used and additional materials are available at www.bellsacrossamerica.com.
“Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters is a unique, grass-roots opportunity for a community to pay their respects to these brave men and women,” said Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF. “It is also a very meaningful way to show the survivors of the fallen that their loved ones will not be forgotten.”
More than 6,000 people, including Members of Congress, Administration officials and other dignitaries, members of the fire service, and families and friends of the fallen firefighters will attend the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. Families will receive flags flown over the U. S. Capitol and the National Memorial. Members of the fire service, pipes and drums, and honor guard units from across the U.S. will participate in this national tribute.
A complete list of fallen firefighters being honored and a widget to display their information on your website, along with Memorial Weekend related videos, photos, media and broadcast information is available at weekend.firehero.org.