Did you know that over a million fires happen every year? What would we do without firefighters here to protect our communities and the people within them? These brave men and women put their lives on the line every time they answer the call to extinguish a fire. Unfortunately, some of these heroes make the ultimate sacrifice while trying to keep others safe. Roughly 50-100+ firefighters lose their lives every year in the United States alone.
On the first Sunday of every October, these fallen first responders are honored in America on National Fallen Firefighters Day. It is a tradition for uniformed firefighters, the families of the fallen, and thousands of others to gather in front of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on this day. In solemn remembrance of America’s bravest, a ceremony takes place that includes the giving of American flags that have flown over the Nation’s Capitol to the families. At the end of the ceremony, a plaque is dedicated to those who died in the previous year and the years before.
This service is always broadcasted live. However, those who cannot attend may still want to participate in this important day of remembrance in other ways. Here are some ideas that can be done locally or at home:
1. Lower your flag to half staff on October 3, 2021
Did you know that American law requires that the American flag is lowered to half staff in observance of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service? Lowering your flag is a very appropriate way to honor these heroic men and women. If you are not able to lower your flag to half staff, try using a mourning streamer.
2. Sound the Sirens
Across the country, on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at noon, many stations will sound their sirens in honor of fallen firefighters. You can contact your local fire department and see if they are taking part in this event or if they are doing anything else special for this significant day.
3. Light the Night
From September 26, 2021, to October 3, 2021, you may see many landmarks and fire departments across America lit up in red lights. In solidarity, you can light up your own home in red.
4. Fly the fallen firefighters’ symbol
Another way to pay your respects is to fly the Firefighters Remembrance flag. This flag is a great way to honor fallen fire heroes.
5. Make a donation
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is a non-profit organization that relies on donations to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community and neighbors. The NFFF also offers other ways you can help.