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Foundation News

Watch the Heartwarming Tradition – NFFF Holiday Tree Lighting

Watch the Heartwarming Tradition – NFFF Holiday Tree Lighting

Tree Lighting

As the holiday season approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by our nation’s fallen firefighters and their families. As part of the annual Fire Hero Family Winter Retreat, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) invites families of fallen firefighters to decorate the holiday trees at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel. Families of fallen firefighters submit ornaments to honor their loved ones, and the trees remain on display at the Chapel throughout the holiday season.

This year’s guest speaker is Mark Steffy, son of Edward Steffy, who died in the line of duty in 2011. Mark’s father often dressed as Santa Claus for Christmas parties when Mark was young, so the holidays hold special memories for Mark. In his article, Santa Claus Delivered, Mark shared a story about a chance meeting with another Fire Hero Family member in 2012. You won’t want to miss Mark’s message for our Fire Hero Family community—and for all seeking hope this holiday season.

Other guest speakers include U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrill and NFFF CEO Victor Stagnaro. The choir from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Emmitsburg, Maryland, will provide holiday musical entertainment.

As we waited our turn and the child in front finished and was leaving, Santa turned to Gabi and said, ‘Young lady, come over here. That organization on your shirt is my favorite charity.’ We were both wearing our NFFF t-shirts.

Watch the Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting

The Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting will take place at 4:30 pm ET on Friday, December 1 and will be livestreamed at

Grieving During the Holidays