(Courtesy Photo:media kit/firehero.org)

EMMITSBURG, MARYLAND – America’s fallen fire heroes, who died in the line of duty, will be honored at the 40th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, October 2-3, 2021. The names of 215 firefighters will become a permanent part of the National Memorial in honor of their sacrifices.

COVID-related line-of-duty deaths are now a factor in the tribute and will continue to be in the future.

On the evening of Saturday, October 2, the families of America’s fallen firefighters will gather for an emotional Candlelight Service. During the ceremony, a plaque bearing the names of the fallen will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. The following morning, Fire Hero Families will participate in the Memorial Service where a grateful nation will honor the sacrifices of their loved ones at the National Memorial.

Eighty-seven firefighters died in the line of duty in 2020. Eighty-two firefighters died in 2019. Forty-six firefighters who died in the line of duty in previous years will also be honored. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will present each family with an American flag flown over the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the U.S. Capitol.

Firefighter Michael Powers of the Liberytown Volunteer Fire Department

Assistant Engineer Otis Isaacs, Jr. of the North East Fire Company

Their names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the Academy grounds.


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Candlelight Service

Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM (ET)

Streaming begins at 6:30PM

Sunday, October 3, 2021

National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

Time: 10:00AM – 12:30PM (ET)

Streaming begins at 9:30AM

Location both days: National Fire Academy Campus, S. Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD

The NFFF will provide a live satellite feed and online streaming of Memorial Weekend services, along with video of events for downloading courtesy of VISTA Worldlink here.

We encourage media to air the two services on your websites and/or social media. For a complete list of fallen firefighters being honored, go to www.firehero.org.

In addition, communities across the U.S. will light up landmarks in “RED”, including buildings, bridges, fire stations, and homes as part of the Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters program. On Sunday, the National Memorial Service begins with bells ringing across the land through our Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters program. For more information on how you can take part in these programs, visit www.firehero.org.

Chief Ron Siarnicki (pronounced SAR-nick-ee), Executive Director, is available for interviews via Zoom. Siarnicki retired as Fire Chief from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department (MD) in 2001 to lead the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. He advocated to develop the Everyone Goes Home® Program, designed to reduce the number of firefighter line-of-duty deaths that occur each year in the United States.


The annual weekend was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video, “America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters” was offered in its place. This year, the in-person event will be held, but will be closed to the public. Only Fire Hero Families will attend, along with Memorial Weekend staff and volunteers, due to ongoing COVID-related concerns. All local, state, and federal health guidelines will be strictly observed.

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About the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to honor America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the non-profit Foundation has developed and expanded programs that fulfill that mandate. Our mission is to honor and remember America’s fallen fire heroes, provide resources to assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries. https://www.firehero.org.