News

Ringing In the New Year – with Remembrance

The original Bells of Remembrance Project began as an idea. Brother David Schlatter, Order of Friars Minor (O.F.M.) was seeking a way to honor Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M.—chaplain of the FDNY and the first person to be identified as being killed in the attacks on September 11th, 2001. This tribute to his friend and mentor evolved into a collection of bells that served as an ongoing traveling memorial for the thousands who lost their lives that day.

In 2022, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation became the permanent home for one of these memorial bells. It is now known as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Bell of Remembrance.

Earlier this year, Brother Schlatter delivered this poignant and meaningful gift to the Foundation, with the intent that it carry on as a lasting tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A special location on the campus of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg was selected, directly across from the 9/11 To Lift A Nation Memorial. The Bell was rung on campus for the very first time during National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. It’s a new tradition that will take place each year as we honor remember the fallen.

Brother David Schlatter, O.F.M.

Brother David Schlatter, O.F.M.

Franciscan Priest
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

The NFFF Bell of Remembrance was originally cast in 1927 by the McShane Bell Foundry Co. of Baltimore, MD. It weighs in at 1,700 lbs. and measures 36 inches high with a diameter of 43 inches.

As we look toward “ringing in the New Year,” we ask that our nation pause and remember those we have lost—this year and in previous years—as they worked to protect us. We remember their families, their colleagues, and their organizations. We continue to support them as we also work to prevent future firefighter death and injury.

We will continue to ring the NFFF Bell of Remembrance in honor of the fallen each year—and we will never forget.