Despite the shutdown of the Federal Government the survivors of fallen firefighters will get to visit the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, this weekend. The shutdown closed the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) forcing the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) to move events for Memorial Weekend to other facilities in Emmitsburg. It also meant the Memorial on the NETC campus was off limits.
NFFF worked closely with FEMA and the United States Fire Administration to ensure families coming in from all over the country will be able to visit the Memorial that will now bear the names of their loved ones. The visit will take place on Saturday immediately following the 4:00 pm Candlelight Service at The Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg. During the visit, the annual Presidential wreath laying will take place during the brief ceremony in front of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
“Despite the Federal Government shutdown and the impact that it is having on the fire community’s Memorial Weekend events, it was critical to find a way for families to have the opportunity to pay their respects at the sacred site located on our campus,” said Ernest Mitchell, Jr., the Administrator of the United States Fire Administration at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“We knew with the shutdown it would not be business as usual, but we also knew we had partners in FEMA and USFA who felt as passionately as we did that these families should not go home without visiting the Memorial that honors their firefighter”, said NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton. “In addition, our longtime supporter, Rep. Steny Hoyer worked behind the scenes with all of us to make this happen.”
Because of space limitations there is no seating for the general public at the Candlelight Service on Saturday. The public is invited to Sunday’s Memorial Service. Please join us in person or watch it live at http://weekend.firehero.org/live/.