How Can My Honor Guard or Pipe Band Participate

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation invites your Honor Guard Unit or Pipe Band to participate during the 36th Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend on October 6 – October 8, 2017, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. On this special weekend, a grateful nation will honor the brave men and women who died in the line of duty during 2016 and those who died in previous years and were reported to the Foundation in 2016.

Memorial Weekend Honor Guard


Registration for members of the Honor Guard and Pipes & Drums has closed for 2017. Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you in 2018.

Security Letters

In order to participate in the 2017 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend events held on the campus of the National Emergency Training Center, you must submit documentation from your affiliated agency stating you have successfully completed and cleared a criminal history check with no adverse findings. The letter must identify you by your full name – *AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE* – and be on your department/agency letterhead, signed by an authorized official. Agencies can submit multiple names on one letter; however, agency officials may not sign a letter on which their name appears. The agency providing the letter should also be the same agency you list as your affiliation when you officially register to attend the Memorial Weekend. Individuals with valid military identifications (active or retired), and individuals who have a valid federal employee or contractor ID, are not required to provide a letter, but they must identify the agency issuing the ID they plan to use.

Security procedures at the National Fire Academy are very rigorous and once you are approved for campus access, you will still need a valid picture ID to actually enter the grounds. In some cases, due to the REAL ID Act, your state’s driver’s license will not suffice for this purpose. Individuals from these states must present a valid United States Passport or Passport Card; federal employee, military or veteran identification card; or a state-enhanced driver’s license to gain access to campus. The most up-to-date listing of each state’s status as it relates to the REAL ID Act can be found at Driver’s licenses will still be accepted from those states listed as compliant or as having received an extension until October 10th. If your state is listed as non-compliant or as having a grace period ending prior to the Memorial Weekend, and you do not possess one of the above-mentioned ID’s that will be valid in October, we recommend that you apply for a passport now to avoid any potential issues for access to campus in October. Instructions on how to apply for a passport can be found at

Ensuring you have appropriate documentation to access campus is critical and we encourage you to take the necessary steps now to be sure it’s in place. Persons who fail to comply with the requirements of the Real ID Act will not be granted access to the NETC campus.

Your security letter must be submitted and approved no later than September 15th to have access to the campus and to be eligible for on-campus housing.

ALL security letters should be submitted as an email attachment to Jeanne Tobia at [email protected]. Letters submitted by other methods or to a different person may not get accurately recorded in our system and, therefore, will adversely impact your ability to access campus.

Arlington Wreath Laying

Be a part of the continuing tradition of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend. All fire service personnel are invited to attend the placement of a Memorial Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery on Thursday, October 5, 2017.

Arrival and Credentialing

Honor Guard check-in and credentialing will take place on Friday afternoon and evening at Mt. St. Mary’s University Knott Arena from 1:00 – 11:00 pm. You will be issued your credentials to access the Memorial Weekend events at this time.

Honor Guard Orientation and Rehearsal

There will be a mandatory Honor Guard and Pipe Band orientation meeting in E Building Auditorium for all personnel at 8am. A mandatory rehearsal for honor guard personnel is scheduled for Saturday immediately following this meeting and again at 12:00 pm.

Scheduled Events

On Saturday, honor guard members can be part of the daylong vigil in the National Memorial Chapel. Families will visit the Chapel to place roses in a Maltese Cross on the altar and light candles in honor of their loved ones. Honor guard members can also be part of the Candlelight Vigil on Saturday evening where talented survivors and firefighters provide music, and a candle is lit in honor of each firefighter being honored.

On Sunday morning, October 9, honor guard members will join fire service personnel in a Sea of Blue through which the families will enter the campus. A procession of honor guard and bagpipe units will begin the national tribute.

Lodging and Meals

On-campus housing is available for up to four members with priority being given to those agencies having a fallen firefighter being honored in 2016. Agencies that do not have a firefighter being honored are responsible for making their off-campus lodging arrangements and paying all associated expenses.

Local lodging is also available for these departments as well as other departments but goes fast, please make your reservations at a local area hotel as soon as possible.

If you plan to eat meals on campus, you will need to purchase a meal ticket during the registration process for the Friday evening meal, all three meals on Saturday and for breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Meal tickets purchased during registration will be distributed at Credentialing at the Knott Arena, Mt. St. Mary’s University on Friday, October 6.

If you have any questions, please contact Eric Nagle at (301) 447-1431 or by email at [email protected].