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.
As the Memorial Service begins on Sunday, October 9, the bells at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel will chime. Local remembrances can occur any time between October 7 and 9, 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.
Less than four hours after shaking hands with President Barack Obama at the NFFF 2015 Memorial Service, Firefighter Brody Channell helped save a child’s life. Firefighter Channell was in Emmitsburg to help honor his father Dennis Channell, an Arkansas firefighter who died in the line-of-duty last year. On his way home Brody Channell stopped to help a Maryland police officer with a 9-month old girl who stopped breathing.
The President spoke of bravery and courage that is instinctive among all firefighters, who are willing to walk through fire to save a stranger’s life. “Those we honor today lived a fundamental principle that binds us as Americans: I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper. That we look out for one another,” he said.
Due to the inclement weather in the Mid-Atlantic region, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is reverting to backup locations for this weekend’s ceremonies to honor 87 firefighters who died in the line of duty.
“We want to pay it forward. We get it.” These two phrases are the unofficial mantra of the Honor Guard who recently volunteered their time for two days to prepare the flags for the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, October 3-4.
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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Does Not Solicit Donations by Phone
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation does not solicit donations by phone or employ outside companies to do so. You can make a donation by mail, by phone or through our website. If you have any questions/concerns please contact us.