Honor Flag Flies Over Fallen Firefighters Memorial

EMMITSBURG, MD -- Hundreds stopped what they were doing Saturday afternoon when the U.S. flag flying over the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial was replaced.

2011 National Firefighters Memorial Coverage

For the next 24 hours, the National Honor Flag will take center pole over the monument to pay tribute fallen firefighters being honored this weekend.

Firefighter honor guards will stand watch while the flag is flying.

"Since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. Honor Flag has paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty protecting our lives, our homes, and our country," Doug Swartz, Clearwater Fire Assistant Chief Health and Safety.

The flag was given to Chris Heisler by the Texas House of Representatives after Sept. 11. He headed for Ground Zero, and helped organize one of the largest police motorcades in history, Swartz explained.

Each May, the honor flag is flown at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The flag arrived at National Airport on Friday aboard an American Airlines, and was greeted by water cannons.

After it is retired from the monument, it will be folded and sent back to Dallas or Miami.