The annual tribute to our nation’s fallen firefighters began against the backdrop of the United States Capitol on Wednesday, September 30 at 2:00 pm. Leaders of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus presented 87 American flags flown over the U.S. Capitol to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). These flags will be given to surviving relatives at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 4 in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Following brief remarks by Fire Caucus leaders, a fire service honor guard conducted a formal flag-folding ceremony. The flags were placed in special cases, carried to a fire engine then escorted by motorcade to Emmitsburg for a brief ceremony. The flag cases will be displayed in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel until the service on Sunday.
“Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to honor those who died in the line of duty and provide support to their survivors,” explained Bill Webb, Executive Director of Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Vice Chair of the NFFF Board of Directors. “This ceremony allows a formal and respectful transfer of the flags from Congress to Emmitsburg and ultimately to the families of our fallen heroes.”
“On Sunday, the names of 87 firefighters who died while bravely serving their communities will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial,” said Chief Dennis Compton, Chairman of the NFFF Board of Directors. “While they would not call themselves heroes, the public feels differently. As a nation, we must be mindful that every line-of-duty death is a tragedy for the entire fire service family and must be appropriately honored. That is why the work of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and this support from Congress are so important.”
The Congressional Flag Presentation Ceremony was coordinated by CFSI, NFFF and leaders of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus. For more information, go to http://www.firehero.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for updates. #FireHero2015
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