National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service weekend, October 4-6, will move to a new location. The weekend, a yearly event planned by The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) at their Emmitsburg, Maryland location, to honor firefighters who died in the line of duty, will be held in Washington, D.C. this year in order to accommodate the large crowds that are expected to attend.
A total of 446 firefighters will be honored. Among those to be honored are the 347 firefighters who were killed in the World Trade Center on September 11. A total of 95 firefighters who died in 34 states throughout 2001 will also be honored as well as 4 firefighters who were lost in past years.
Some of the events are reserved for family, friends and colleagues only, but several of the events are open to the public. The opening reception on Friday, October 4, as well as the family counseling sessions that will be held Saturday morning, are reserved events that will be held downtown.
An event that is open to the public and motorcycle riders in particular is the Red Helmets Motorcycle Ride. The ride, an annual part of the tribute celebration, will be held on October 5 and will begin at 11 a.m. at the Pentagon’s North Parking Lot. The ride will conclude at the National Law enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C.
Another event for Saturday includes a Candlelight Service to be held at 7 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University. The service will include musical selections, video footage of each firefighter and the lighting of the Remembrance Candle.
The weekend culminates with the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on October 6 at the MCI Center. Honor guard units and bagpipe bands will lead the Procession Of Honor, which will begin at 11 a.m. and be staged along Constitution Avenue. 7th street leading up to MCI Center will be lined with uniformed firefighters from around the world paying tribute. This forms the “Sea of Blue.” The procession will be led by family members of fallen firefighters who will be honored at this year’s event.
The memorial service will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 6. Those in attendance will include fire service personnel from across the country as well as nationally recognized speakers. The service will include videos, musical tributes and the unveiling of the memorial plaque listing the names of the firefighters being honored. The plaque will be placed at The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland in honor of the fallen heroes.
For events such as the candlelight service and the memorial service in the MCI Center, large-screen viewing will be available on the streets and public areas.
Additional information can can be found on the NFFF web site.http://www.firehero.org/