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Why Should My Family Attend the Memorial Weekend?

This special Weekend will honor the service and sacrifice of your loved one and the other firefighters being honored this year. The Memorial Weekend is different than other memorial services you have attended. You will have opportunities to meet fire service survivors from across the country so that you can share experiences, make lasting friendships, and begin to look ahead.

Let some of our surivors tell you how they felt about their Memorial Weekend experience.

Surivors Appreciated...

Our escort was exceptional-compassionate and sincere. She told us what was going to happen beforehand so we didn't have any unhappy surprises.

Seeing my girls' faces light up when they saw the clowns was worth every bit of it.

Many can say, "I know how you feel," but they really don't. Those at the Memorial knew, for they had been where we were. They really knew what we were going through, and that made such a difference.

The Candlelight Vigil was stunning, but also peaceful. Great ceremony. Great music. Great setting for the occasion. All the singers were amazing.

The Sea of Blue was a wonderful idea. It made us so proud that our husband and father was part of something he loved so much-being a firefighter.

We will never forget the Memorial Weekend-from the firefighters standing there holding a sign when we got off the plane, to the hotel staff, to the many people at the campus. We never had to want or need for anything; someone was there. I wish my son's name did not have to be added to the wall, but I am honored he is a part of such a great family and history.

We Are Not Alone...

I made lots of now long lasting friendships. I will never forget how wonderful you guys are to the survivors and family.

It was comforting to be in the company of so many people who can identify with how you feel. I wish there were some way to personally thank each and every person involved. I have never been made to feel so special.

I miss my husband terribly, but with your help, kind words, hugs, and support, now I feel I'm not so alone. I hope to be able to help someone next year, as much as you have helped me. You are all our guardian angels.

Many Thanks

I am a proud mom of a fallen firefighter. To have people at the event that never knew my son show such loving support and encourage loved ones left behind helped to uplift my soul and spirit. I will be forever thankful that I made the choice to attend. I went to honor my son, and I left with gratitude and a humbled spirit. My son was honored, and so was I.

Words fail to adequately express my gratitude, for the gift to my family that was the Memorial Weekend experience. You understood our pain and grief as if it was your own, and the comfort and support we received were beyond measure.

So many people have asked me how the Weekend was, but it is so hard for me to explain to someone who has never experienced it just how absolutely amazing it was. What a wonderful tribute to all of these well-deserved people!

I will always remember just how special I felt when my husband was honored, and I feel that same honor every time I am on your campus. I am so blessed and proud to be a part of the fire service family.

Going Forward

When I received the package about the Memorial Weekend, I really thought I would not be going. I knew that my babies and I couldn't handle another sad ceremony. I am very thankful I decided to go. It will be a memory to last a lifetime.

I had mixed feelings about attending the Memorial Weekend. I thought that I would be overcome with emotion that would only add to our family's sorrow. This was not the case. From the moment we pulled into the hotel until we left on Sunday, we felt loved and cared for. Thank you for one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

We anticipated that it would be an emotional weekend, and we dreaded the trip. We couldn't have imagined how wonderful it would be. All of the special elements of the weekend helped us to feel that our father is now at peace. It was as though we brought part of his spirit from home and left part of his spirit in Emmitsburg with his fallen firefighter brothers and sisters.

My husband's death was a huge shock. With three teenagers who lost their father, I never really had time to grieve. Going to the Memorial by myself gave me the time and a chance to accept his loss and to grieve. I really felt like I had others to help me say goodbye to my husband. Thank you. I really needed the help, and I am a little more at peace with his loss.

Absolutely every detail was thoughtfully and superbly executed with love this past weekend. For the first time since my husband's death, I feel peace. God bless you all for that gift.