September 26, 2014
Colorado Springs, Colorado – IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger joined grieving families and comrades in honoring the 168 professional fire fighters and paramedics who died in the line of duty in the past year at the IAFF 28th Annual Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial service in Colorado Springs.
More names have been added to the Wall of Honor this year than any year since the September 11, 2001 when 347 fire fighters perished in the terror attacks at the World Trade Center.
Each name tells a story. Many died on the fire ground protecting those in danger. Others died from chronic illness acquired after a career of exposure to toxic fumes. Some who spent weeks searching for bodies amid the rubble of the World Trade Center have now passed. Nineteen lost their lives in the raging Yarnell Hill wildfire near Prescott, Arizona.
An estimated 5,000 family and friends from throughout North America, as well as hundreds of IAFF affiliate Honor Guard and Pipe and Drum corps, gathered at Memorial Park in the shadow of Pikes Peak to pay solemn tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep people safe.
“Each of the stories of our fallen is placed on these walls and each time another name is added the stories grow. They’re stories of courage, of honor, of duty, of family, of sacrifice,” Schaitberger told the audience. “And each of your loved one’s story will remain here and be told here for all time.”
Prior to his remarks, President Schaitberger and IAFF General Secretary-Treasurer Thomas Miller laid a wreath at the Wall of Honor to begin the ceremony. A complete video of the memorial service can be found here.
The IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial bears the names of 2,976 fire fighters who died in the line of duty.
“We are honored each year to welcome and provide the hospitality that these families of those who have given so much richly deserve,” said Jeremy Kroto, president of Colorado Springs Local 5, whose members care for the Memorial grounds year around.
*** The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the leading advocate in North America for the safety and training of fire fighters and paramedics and represents more than 300,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect communities in every state and throughout Canada. More information is available at www.iaff.org.