Feature

We will never forget our fallen firefighters

Robert Westover
Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service
October 23rd, 2013 at 4:30PM

Few would ever take jobs that require one to literally run toward fire—and possible death—but that’s exactly what countless firefighters did last year. Seventy-three of those heroes didn’t live to tell about it. Their deaths happened on U.S. Forest Service-managed lands, in public and privately-owned buildings and just about any place fire can burn.

These fallen firefighters were remembered during a tribute held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. Oct.6. The National Firefighters Foundation has sponsored this national event every October since 1992 to honor all firefighters who died in the line of duty the previous year.

The event, National Firefighters Memorial Weekend, which was aired live on the Memorial Weekend’s website, included family, friends and co-workers sharing their stories about these courageous heroes and what gave them the mettle to do such brave work day after day, year after year sometimes for decades.

The firefighters were remembered with bronze plaques containing their names that will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located on the academy campus.

The 19 firefighters who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire in June 2013, representing the greatest loss of life by firefighters on any given day since 9/11, will be included among the reading of names.

So that these courageous and compassionate men and women will never be forgotten, Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to honor America’s fallen firefighters.