The seventy-seven fire fighters who died in the line of duty over the last year will be acknowledged when families and firefighters gather in Colorado Springs for the union's 17th annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Ceremony.
"This annual ceremony is a fitting and respectful tribute to the firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice," said Harold Schaitberger, general president of the 260,000 member IAFF. "It is a time for us to honor the families of these fallen heroes to recognize the tremendous loss they have suffered and the sacrifices they have made."
The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Memorial Park, located at the corner of Pikes Peak and Hancock Avenues in Colorado Springs. The ceremony, which will feature fire fighter pipes and drums, music and celebratory comments about the heroism and accomplishments of the fallen fire fighters, is designed to be an uplifting event.
This year's ceremony will honor fire fighters killed in the line of duty between June 2002 and June 2003. Nearly 400 families and hundreds of fire fighters from across North America are scheduled to attend. Last year, more than 12,000 families and fire fighters attended the IAFF memorial observance.