The lives of 82 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 21 firefighters who died in previous years will be remembered in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's production of America's Tribute to Fallen Firefighters.
The foundation invites residents to watch the 45 minute special on www.firehero.org and through the foundation’s social media platforms at 10 a.m. Sunday, as well as take a moment to read the 2020 Roll of Honor; a collection of stories about fire heroes submitted by their families, friends and fellow firefighters.
Normally events of the National Memorial take place in Emmitsburg, Maryland, at the location of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, but the foundation had postponed the annual memorial in June due to the challenges of planning a large, in-person event amid uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We could not risk the health and safety of Fire Hero Families, our staff volunteers and attendees by having our traditional Memorial weekend,” National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Executive Director Chief Ronald Siarnicki said. “We encourage all of our Fire Hero Families, members of the fire service and general public to join us Sunday.”
There will be an honor guard standing watch at the National Firefighters Memorial Saturday night until Sunday morning when the National Tribute begins. The Honor Guard can be seen by going to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s webcam at https://www.firehero.org/fallen-firefighters/memorial-park/live-cam/.
In addition, landmarks across the U.S., including buildings, bridges, fire stations and homes will light up in red to honor America’s fallen firefighters as part of the Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters program.
On Sunday, America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters will begin with bells ringing across the country in honor of the nation’s fallen firefighters through the foundation’s Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters program.
For more information on how to take part in the programs, visit www.firehero.org. Currently, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial is closed to the public due to restrictions related to COVID-19.