Global Day of Gratitude Honors Firefighters Past, Present, and Future

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation again takes part in International Firefighters’ Day

International Firefighters' Day 2021
International Firefighters’ Day is a time where the world recognizes and honors the sacrifices firefighters make to ensure their communities are safe. This day of recognition is at the core of what the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation does. Our mission is to honor and remember America’s fallen firefighters, assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and  prevent firefighter injuries and deaths.

“We are encouraged by all those who recognize the service of the brave men and women who protect their communities 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” said Troy Markel, Chair of the NFFF Board of Directors.  “At the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation we will continue to ensure those who make the ultimate sacrifice are remembered every day and their families are cared for.”

Whether you lit your home in redcreated a thank you, celebrated your special firefighter, watched special Firefighters’ Day content, played online trivia, or made a donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, you let the world know how much firefighters mean to our communities.

We Thank Firefighters

Our creative friends lovingly crafted, sketched, colored, and photographed their own personal “thank you” to firefighters.  These acts of kindness and love were shared on social media and on the Foundation’s website for firefighters to see. Many are posted online in our We Thank Firefighters Flickr gallery.


New in 2021, the #ThisIsMyFirefighter campaign mobilized our Fire Hero Families and other fire service families, giving them the opportunity to brag about their special firefighter(s) on social media. Families flooded the internet with photos of their loved ones in the fire service.  Some of those are currently serving, others gave their lives in service, but all dedicated their lives to protecting their communities.

Around the World with Chief Billy Goldfeder

NFFF Board Member Chief Billy Goldfeder hosted discussions with fire chiefs from around the world.    West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Sabrina Cohen-Hatton shared her  personal story describing her rise from  homeless teenager to achieving her PhD, conducting research on incident command and decision making, making sentinel changes in the way IC’s are trained and prepare for emergencies.

Orlando Fire Chief Ben Barksdale talked about his rewarding work with the Africa Fire Mission, helping other brother and sister firefighters to improve their department.  We also heard from Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency’s Fire Chief Kenneth Stuebing on their innovative program, Road to Mental Readiness.

Shining a Light for Our Community Heroes

On the night of May 4th, hundreds of families, U.S. fire departments, public buildings, and corporations across the United States joined the NFFF for our Shine Your Light for Firefighters, which asked members of the community to light up in red to show their support for all firefighters.  In 2021, families and buildings in Canada, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia also joined the Shine Your Light for Firefighters tribute. We thank everyone who participated, shared the program in their communities, and sent photos of their tribute.

As part of our second commemoration of International Firefighters’ Day, we teamed  the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and The Niagara Falls Illumination Board to have Niagara Falls lit in a spectacular display of red.  During this special international tribute, firefighters from the United States and Canada gathered at the falls to celebrate with the rest of the globe.

We hope everyone will join us again this  fall during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend for Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters  September 26 – October 3, 2021.

Celebrating Firefighters

We are grateful for everyone’s support of this global event and look forward to celebrating International Firefighters’ Day 2022. Please save the date and join us again on May 4, 2022 to celebrate our heroes.

You can continue to support the fire service all year long by donating to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and subscribing to our newsletter to learn more about the work we do every day to honor and remember America’s fallen firefighters, assisting their families, and working to prevent firefighter injuries and deaths.