PHOENIX — Firefighter families and communities came together in Maryland for the 40th Annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial to honor and recognize hundreds of firefighters who died in the line of duty or from COVID-19.
"These men and women spend a third of their lives at the fire station, so they become family instantly,” Capt. Todd Keller said.
Keller shared the importance of memorializing those who served our communities, the same people who always running toward danger and never away from it.
"It's just a time to reflect and realize what these firemen and women have done, given the ultimate sacrifice."
A plaque with the names of the fallen including 10 from Arizona will be added to the memorial in Maryland. Keller is hopeful the ceremony will bring some closure to their families.
"We always like to represent our firefighters that we have lost, and we don't forget about them. It's super important to let them know that ‘hey, you will always be a part of our family.’"
He adds that the sound of bells ringing in their honor is a reminder of how important first responders are and how departments are always looking for ways to protect their crews.
"Whether it’s on the fire ground, whether it's on EMS calls or ways to handle cancer prevention," Keller said.
As one firefighter's name after another is called, the call for first responders remains constant, and Keller praised the community for unconditional support.
"We can't tell you how much that means to us to have the support of the community," he said.
More details: https://www.firehero.org/events/memorial-weekend/
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