For the first time in the 30-year history of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend the bells of the Memorial Chapel will ring on Sunday, October 16 to honor the fallen. As part of this tribute, fire departments and places of worship & other community organizations will join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters, the first nation-wide remembrance for firefighters who died in the line of duty. The NFFF created the website, www.bellsacrossamerica.com which explains the program. A letter of invitation, frequently asked questions about the program and a response form are all available on the website. Fire department representatives are encouraged to work with their clergy and community leaders to decide what type of remembrance is best. Some suggestions include: ringing chapel bells, a moment of silence, a brief prayer, a hymn, tolling a ceremonial bell by members of the Fire Department, or any combination of these. The remembrance can occur at any time on Sunday, October 16.
"When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, the sadness resonates through an entire community. Through Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters, everyone across the country has the opportunity to pay tribute to the lives of these brave men and women who willingly take risks to protect and serve their communities," said Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
In addition to Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters, departments and individuals can add the National Fallen Firefighters Tribute Widget to their website, blog or Facebook page. The widget is a small box that will appear on the site, continually scrolling the names of firefighters honored in Emmitsburg. The photos of seven firefighters who will be honored are rotated each day for one week leading up to Memorial Weekend. Go to weekend.FireHero.org/widget to copy and embed the widget.
The Fire Hero Network will be in full operation during Memorial Weekend. The Candlelight Service and Memorial Service will again be televised and sent around the world via satellite and the Internet. Departments can be a part of the network by streaming the events on your department's website. The NFFF invites all departments to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to encourage local news media to do the same.
For more information about the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, go to weekend.firehero.org.