National Memorial to honor Missouri fallen fire heroes

RDN REPORTS
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Seven Missouri fallen firefighters to be honored at National Memorial Service on Saturday, after the annual weekend was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

America’s fallen fire heroes, who died in the line of duty, will be honored at the 40th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, Saturday and Sunday. 

The names of 215 firefighters will become a permanent part of the National Memorial in honor of their sacrifices. 

COVID-related line-of-duty deaths are now a factor in the tribute and will continue to be in the future.

Saturday night, the families of America’s fallen firefighters will gather for an emotional Candlelight Service.  

During the ceremony, a plaque bearing the names of the fallen will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. 

The following morning, Fire Hero Families will participate in the Memorial Service where a grateful nation will honor the sacrifices of their loved ones at the National Memorial. 

Eighty-seven firefighters died in the line of duty in 2020. 

Eighty-two firefighters died in 2019. Forty-six firefighters who died in the line of duty in previous years will also be honored. 

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will present each family with an American flag flown over the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the U.S. Capitol for:

— Captain Timothy Owens of the City of St. Joseph Fire Department.

— Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Moore of the Maryland Heights Fire Protection.

— Fire Chief Jack Reding of the Duenweg Volunteer Fire Department.

— Captain Jerry Bayton of the Kansas City Fire Department.

— Firefighter/Paramedia Charles McCormick of the West Peculiar Fire Protection District.

— Firefighter David Jameson, Jr. of the Independence Fire Department.

— Lieutenant/Fire Marshal Ronald Wehlage, Jr. of the DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District.

Their names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the Academy grounds.

This year, the in-person event will be held, but will be closed to the public. 

Only Fire Hero Families will attend, along with Memorial Weekend staff and volunteers, due to ongoing COVID-related concerns. All local, state, and federal health guidelines will be strictly observed.

Here’s the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend Schedule: 

Saturday

  • Candlelight Service, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (ET)
  • Streaming begins at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday

  • National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (ET)
  • Streaming begins at 9:30 a.m.

Location both days will be at the National Fire Academy Campus, S. Seton Ave., Emmitsburg, Maryland

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will provide a live satellite feed and online streaming of Memorial Weekend services, along with video of events for downloading at https://www.firehero.org/events/memorial-weekend/attending-memorial-weekend/ways-honor-fallen/watch-live/.

For a complete list of fallen firefighters being honored, go to www.firehero.org. 

In addition, communities across the U.S. will light up landmarks in “RED”, including buildings, bridges, fire stations and homes as part of the Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters program. 

On Sunday, the National Memorial Service begins with bells ringing across the land through the Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters program. 

For more information on how you can take part in these programs, visit www.firehero.org.