National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
National Fallen Firefighters Memorial since 1990 is officially designated by the United States Congress as the National Memorial to career and volunteer fallen firefighters. Located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, it was conceived as a tribute to American fire service. The memorial was constructed in 1981 on the campus of the National Fire Academy. Plaques listing the names of firefighters encircle the plaza from the same year. When a firefighter dies on duty, local fire officials notify the United States Fire Administration and a notice is immediately posted on the Memorial grounds. The flags over the Memorial are flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen firefighter. If some criteria are met, the fallen firefighter is honored at the annual memorial service. The Memorial is open to the public throughout the year.
On October 16, 2001, President George W. Bush approved legislation requiring the United States flag to be lowered to half-staff on all federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters. Public Law 107-51 requires this action to occur annually in conjunction with observance of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. The date of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service is traditionally the first Sunday in October. A candlelight vigil is held the night before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. The service is held at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. These services memorialize Fallen Firefighters from around the nation.