Bells will ring from coast to coast as a grateful nation pauses on Sunday, October 7, to honor those firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2011. Fire departments and their places of worship will join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) for the Second Annual Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters, part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
"As the Memorial Service begins, the bells at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel in Emmitsburg will ring to honor the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in 2011," said Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF. "We are encouraging firefighters across the country to invite their place of worship or other community group to join us with their own tribute to our fallen heroes."
The moment of remembrance can occur at any time during Memorial Weekend, October 6 & 7. Fire department representatives are encouraged to work with their clergy and community leaders to develop an appropriate tribute. Some suggestions include: ringing chapel bells, a moment of silence, a brief prayer, a hymn, or tolling a ceremonial bell by members of the fire department.
Nearly 100 fire departments participated in the first Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters in 2011. In addition, the United States Air Force 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, stationed at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, used a fire extinguisher as their bell and a spanner wrench as a clapper to honor those firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice.
For more information about participating in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters and to download the invitation letter and response form, please visit www.BellsAcrossAmerica.com.