Two of the major events taking place during the 2009 Memorial Weekend (October 3-4, 2009) at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, are available live on the Internet, for easy viewing. CLICK HERE. The Memorial Weekend will honor 103 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2008, and 19 firefighters who died in previous years.
The National Candlelight Service will feature musical selections by members of the fire service and survivors of fallen firefighters and a video tribute to 2008 fallen firefighters. Families of fallen firefighters will light luminary candles for each fallen firefighter. Luminaria decorated by the children attending Family Day will be displayed during the ceremony. As the ceremony closes, survivors of firefighters lost in previous years will light the remembrance candles, a symbol of the hope and enduring friendship shared by all who have lost a firefighter.
The Memorial Service will remember America’s firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2008. Thousands of people are expected to attend and celebrate the lives of these firefighters. The ceremony will begin with an honor guard procession. Families receive American flags flown over the United States Capitol and the Emmitsburg monument. The tribute will conclude with the unveiling of the memorial plaque listing the names of the 2008 fallen firefighters and those honored from earlier years. The plaques surrounding the Memorial, which was established in 1981, will contain the names of more than 3,300 firefighters.
2009 National Fallen Firefighters Candlelight Service
Saturday, October 3, 2009 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm (EST)
Satellite feed begins at 5:30 pm (EST)
2009 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service
Sunday, October 4, 2009 9:30am – 12:30pm (EST)
Satellite feed begins at 9:00am (EST)
Thirty-six states experienced line-of-duty deaths in 2008. Deaths resulted from many causes, including vehicle accidents while enroute to or returning from emergency calls, training incidents, building collapses, diving incidents, natural disaster response, being struck by objects (vehicles, trees, waterway from aerial devices, and gunshot wounds) at the incident scene, falls, heart attacks, helicopter/air tanker crashes, and burns. Five multiple fatality incidents accounted for 17 deaths. Two multiple fatality incidents occurred at structural fires, one in an apparatus crash after a bridge collapse during heavy smoke conditions at a wildland fire, one helicopter crash during a wildland fire, and one air tanker that crashed on take-off. Wildland fires, controlled burns and training/certification for wildland protection resulted in 15 fatalities. Oregon and North Carolina suffered the Nation’s greatest number of line-of-duty firefighter deaths in 2008 with 9 in each state, while Pennsylvania and New York had 8, Missouri had 7, and California had 6.
Chief Dennis Compton, Chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Board of Directors, stated: “Our country’s firefighters make a commitment day in and day out to protect others from the ravages of fire and many other life threatening hazards. Each year we gather at the site of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, to pay tribute to those firefighters who paid the ultimate price in the performance of their duties. The fire service is honored and humbled to memorialize these fallen heroes and show our sincere appreciation for the sacrifices made by those they left behind.”
For more information about the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend visit Weekend.FireHero.org.