Constructed in 1981, the 7-foot stone monument features a sculpted Maltese Cross, the traditional symbol of the fire service. An engraved plaque on the monument bears a message from President Ronald W. Reagan. At the base of the monument an eternal flame symbolizes the spirit of all firefighters — past, present and future. Plaques encircling the monument list the names of the men and women of the fire service who have died in service to their communities since 1981. Whenever a firefighter dies in the line-of-duty, fire officials post a notice of the death at the monument and lower flags at the site to half-staff.
Each year, America honors its fallen fire heroes during a National Memorial Service at the monument site. The ceremony includes the placing of a Presidential Wreath at the monument and dedication of a plaque honoring those who died in the line-of-duty during the previous year.
A Wall of Honor is now in place around the monument. The first plaque was placed on the Wall with the names of firefighters who died in the line-of-duty during 2004.
A brick Walk of Honor® winds through the beautiful campus, connecting the monument site to the historic National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel.