Gathering at State Capitol to honor fallen firefighters
Thousands of Minnesotans, including families of firefighters who died in the line of duty, firefighters from around the state, community leaders, Governor Mark Dayton and the public will gather at the Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial on Sunday, September 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to remember those who paid the ultimate price.
During the service, families of fallen firefighters who haven't yet been honored in a public ceremony will receive a Minnesota state flag that has been flown over the State Capitol.
After the service, family members and the public are welcome to spend time within the Fallen Firefighter Memorial and make etchings of their loved one's name.
A new component this year is Bells Across Minnesota for Fallen Firefighters, a coordinated statewide ringing of bells before the start of the service.
Bells will ring at the Capitol grounds at 1:58 p.m., and religious organizations across Minnesota have been invited by their local fire departments to ring their bells at the same time in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Since 1881, 208 Minnesota firefighters have died in the line of duty. Their names have been inscribed on columns throughout the nationally recognized memorial, located on the south side of the Capitol grounds.
The memorial service is held each year on the last Sunday in September, which has been designated as the state's official day to honor Minnesota's fallen firefighters.
This year's event will recognize dozens of people, including newly discovered line-of-duty deaths and families the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation was able to track down since the 2012 memorial dedication.
The Fire Service successfully raised $720,000 to fund the memorial through donations from the public, Minnesota businesses and, primarily, from the state's firefighting community.
Financial contributions, to fund educational scholarships for children of active, retired or deceased firefighters and for spouses of deceased firefighters and support for firefighters and their families in times of need, can be sent to: Minnesota Fire Service Foundation c/o Flagship Bank, 7525 Office Ridge Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3644.
Online contributions can be made at: www.MNFireServiceFoundation.org. All contributions are tax deductible.