IAFF's Fallen Fire Fighter ceremony returns in person

The event is expected to boast a larger-than-usual crowd this year

Nick Sullivan
The Gazette

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hundreds of firefighters will be honored Saturday at the first in-person Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in three years. The annual ceremony, which returns to Memorial Park after a stint online due to the pandemic, remembers International Association of Fire Fighter members who died in the line of duty or from work-related illness.

This year's event is expected to boast a larger-than-usual crowd, as the families of those who would have been honored in person in 2020 and 2021 gather to remember their loved ones. The decision to go virtual in recent years followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, according to IAFF press secretary Tim Burn, and now is the time to safely gather once again.

People gathered at the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in 2017.
People gathered at the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in 2017. (Photo/Colorado Springs Fire Department)

"I think that all of our members ... and all of the families of the fallen are ready for this to happen and looking forward to it happening," Burn said. "We want to make sure that we appreciate their sacrifice, and we want to make sure that not only will their sons and their husbands not be forgotten, but that we won't, the fire service won't, forget them."

In total, 469 firefighters are being honored this year, their names forever etched on a granite wall beside those who fell before them. Each honoree's name will be read aloud followed by the toll of a bell.

"It's going to take a little bit of time for all of that to take place, but each ringing of the bell represents someone who's given their lives in service of their community, so we're just gonna take the time to do it," Burn said.

A massed pipe-and-drums band parade will march through downtown Colorado Springs Friday at 8 p.m. and again on Saturday at 8 p.m. The memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Park. A full agenda can be found on the IAFF website.


(c)2022 The Gazette

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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