For years, members of the fire service have told the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation that preparing a eulogy was one of the most difficult things they had ever done. They wanted their remarks to be both comforting and respectful.
A eulogy is for the living, most importantly for family and close friends. So we have turned to survivors and friends of fallen firefighters to share what meant the most to them. We also have asked senior fire officers what worked best in their preparation and delivery.
If asked to deliver a eulogy for a fallen firefighter from your department, here are a few guidelines that may help you gather your thoughts and prepare a fitting tribute.
- Get the key facts-age, nickname, names of family members and closest friends, timeline of key events in the person's life, personal and professional accomplishments, and honors and awards received.
- Ask friends and family members for stories that illustrate how they want to remember their loved one. If you use one of these stories, remember to acknowledge the source. For example, "Jim's daughters told me