"A Hero's Tribute"

As the Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, I would like to extend my personal appreciation to the entire Fire and Rescue Service for everything that has been done to support and assist the Foundation and the efforts that were put forth to help with the National Memorial Weekend which was held in Washington DC last October.

For those of you, who were able to attend the weekend events, you know first hand what a moving experience it was to see the thousands of family members of the 446 lost firefighters take part in the public tributes. And I am sure you have relayed your personal experiences to many of your colleagues who were unable to make that trek to our Nations Capitol.

For those of you who did not make it, unfortunately you missed one of the greatest tributes put forth to honor our lost brothers and sisters and I can assure each of you that it truly was one of the most significant, emotional and supportive national tributes that has ever occurred.

We honored those 446 brave brothers and sisters in a traditional fire service fashion interjected with personal tributes, performances by nationally known entertainers, and comments from all facets of this great nation of ours. We did this to capture the true essence of each of those heroes as they died in the line of duty while protecting the two things dearest to all of us -- our homes, and our families.

Each time that I reflect upon the deeds and services provided by these lost heroes I think of a specific quote by President John F. Kennedy. The quote is etched into the base of the Prince George