Thousands of Minnesotans are expected to gather at the state Capitol on Sunday to honor the state’s fallen firefighters, reports The Pioneer Press.
Gov. Mark Dayton and firefighters from across the state will attend the memorial service, which is held every year on the last Sunday of September, deemed as the state’s official day to honor its fallen firefighters, according to the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation.
Since 1881, 208 Minnesota firefighters have died on the job, the foundation said, and their names have been inscribed on columns throughout the Fallen Firefighter Memorial constructed last year.
More than 4,000 people gathered for last year’s ceremony at the memorial, which stands on the south side of the Capitol grounds, the foundation said.
“Many surviving family members haven’t had the opportunity to experience how powerful a service like this can be,” Minnesota Fire Service Foundation President George Esbensen said in a statement. “After the inaugural memorial service in 2012, many families told us they didn’t expect how much of a sense of closure and relief it provided to see thousands of firefighters pay tribute to the sacrifice that their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters or grandparents made for the people of Minnesota.”
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