The National Memorial park features a brick Walk of Honor® that connects the monument, the historic Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel, and memorial plazas. The GFFF commenced a project in 2012 to designate a section of the Walk of Honor® specifically for Georgia. This section of bricks lies between the chapel and the memorial near the front of the chapel.
Georgia surviving family members will have the opportunity to attend the second annual Georgia Survivor Retreat which is designed to bring existing survivors together with new survivors. The returning survivors are able to give new survivors tips on what to expect and how to get the most out of the state memoirial as well as the national memorial. Surivors are also given the opportunity to address the new honor guard class to provide their feedback in regards to what stood out during their loved ones funeral and memorial events. All of the survivors are given the opportunity to help plan the next year and what they would like to see out of the foundation and what opportunites exist for foundation projects and growth.
The Georgia Public Safety Memorial Wall was established to recognize Georgia’s Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Corrections Officers, Emergency Medical Technicians and Emergency Management Agency Personnel who lost their lives while on active duty. On June 10, 1997, the Georgia Public Safety Memorial was dedicated to honor these brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting life and property in the proud tradition of the public safety services. Above the names that are etched in granite on the Memorial Wall are the words, “With honor they served.” Each of the individuals listed on the Memorial Wall embodied those words. They served with honor, with courage, with dignity, and with concern for their fellow man. The people of Georgia are forever grateful to those who have sacrificed so much. Submissions of names to appear on the Memorial Wall are considered by the Public Safety Memorial Committee and approved by the Board of Public Safety.
The National Memorial park features a brick Walk of Honor® that connects the monument, the historic Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel, and memorial plazas. Each brick on the walkway bears a personal inscription. Proceeds from the sale of these bricks help to finance construction of the Memorial Park. The Walk of Honor® continues to expand and now contains more than 10,000 inscribed bricks. Numbered sections help donors and recipients locate their special bricks. A section in the crosswalk recognizes the Foundation’s major donors. This special section contains bricks honoring more than 500 corporations, organizations, and individuals for their support. These sponsors help ensure that our fallen heroes and their families will always be remembered! To speed up placement of donated bricks, the Foundation has laid brick pavers that will be replaced with inscribed bricks twice a year; in the late spring and in the late summer. Inscribed bricks currently account for a quarter of the total walkway, with space available for over 12,000 more inscribed bricks.
Families of fallen firefighters face a long and difficult journey. While the rest of the world moves on, family members must figure out how to live without their loved one. The Foundation offers a variety of programs and materials to help during this most difficult time. Most importantly, we want you to know that you are not alone. There are others who understand your loss and honor your loved one’s memory. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation offers several programs to assist family members through their journey.
A grateful Nation honors its fallen fire service heroes at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park located on the campus of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The park is located about 90 minutes from Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland. At the heart of the park, the National Fallen Firefighters Monument is a striking stone monument encircled by plaques listing the names of all members of the fire service who have died in the line-of-duty since 1981. A brick Walk of Honor® connects the National Monument to the historic Memorial Chapel, which houses the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s business office. At the far end of the park stands the 9/11 Memorial, To Lift A Nation. In 2011, a brick plaza and walkway were added in front of the sculpture. Future plans include the addition of a Visitors Information Center, the creation of a special area in the park to honor pre-1981 fallen firefighters, and expansion of the Walk of Honor® to join the newly installed plaza and walkway.
The anniversary of the death of a loved one is often difficult for survivors. During the anniversary month of their firefighter’s death, families receive a Remembrance card written by another fire service survivor. It is a simple way to remind families that others remember and care.
When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, life changes forever for the surviving family members. For families of firefighters who have been honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, there is a place to go each year to find support and comfort, make new friends, and create new memories. The 9th annual Fire Service Survivors Conference was held May 4-7, 2014, in Clayton, Missouri, just outside St. Louis. Survivors attended workshops on a variety of topics related to grief, wellness, self-care, practical skills, and leisure activities. They also spent time getting to know one another in small groups, during meals, and on evening outings to local attractions. The conference is open to adult survivors of firefighters who have been honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Spouses, significant others, parents, siblings, and adult children are invited to attend. Workshop and lodging costs are covered through a grant from the Department of Justice. Please note that due to funding limitations, transportation costs will not be reimbursed.
Survivors can provide a unique kind of support to one another. Simply connecting with someone else who has lost a beloved firefighter can offer a sense of hope and understanding. Members of our Fire Service Survivors Network volunteer to reach out to others. The Foundation matches members of the network with survivors who face similar circumstances. For example, we have brought together spouses who are raising teenagers, women who were pregnant when they lost their husbands, and parents who have lost their only child. Sometimes, survivors live close enough to one another that they are able to meet in person. More often, they keep in touch by e-mail, letters or phone. Many close friendships have grown from matches made through the Network. Most importantly, members of this special network remind new survivors that they are not alone.
The NFFF partners with Comfort Zone Camp to provide a weekend bereavement camp for children ages 7-17 of fallen firefighters who have been honored in Emmitsburg. This year’s camp will be at Camp Wyman in Eureka, Missouri, on August 1-3. Campers will be paired with Big Buddies from the fire service. They will meet others with a similar loss in Healing Circles, work together as a team on the challenge course, play games and engage in outdoor camp activities. The NFFF will help campers and parents with travel expenses and also provide lodging and meals. While campers are busy, parents will have an opportunity to network and attend sessions to gain information on how to help a grieving child. We hope that you and your children will join us. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Bev Donlon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 447-1603