EMMITSBURG, MD – Despite the showers, workers plowed ahead here Friday readying the campus for the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend events.
Chairs were set up, risers were erected and banners were hung.
Crews worked well into the night, and were back at it early Saturday morning.
On Sunday, 89 firefighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice will be honored during the annual memorial service. They include 72 who died in 2010 and 17 from previous years.
As of Friday, 73 families had pre-registered, said Linda Hurley, chief of staff.
“Every year though, we get families who show up, which is fine,” she said adding that the staff is prepared.
On Saturday, families and colleagues will descend on campus to visit the memorial which turns 30 this year. They also will have the opportunity to make rubbings of bricks bearing the names of fallen heroes. Grief sessions also will be conducted.
In the afternoon, the roar of motorcycles will be heard as hundreds roll into campus. Members of the Red Helmet ride will lay a wreath at the memorial.
A candlelight vigil at the memorial will include musical tributes.
The bell above the chapel will be rung at 10 a.m. Sunday to signal the beginning of the service; and NFFF officials are hoping that bells across the nation will toll to honor the fallen heroes.
NFFF Executive Director Ron Siarnicki noted that there won’t be a special event commemorating the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.