The Washington Fire Department is inviting local churches to ring bells before services Oct. 5 and 6 as part of the annual Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters event.
Bells Across America is a nationwide event to remember firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty during the previous year.
The survivors of the fallen and thousands of service members gather for the National Fallen Firefighters (NFF) Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Md., to honor the lives and sacrifices of these heroes.
It is a time-honored tradition in the fire service to ring bells during funerals and memorial services for firefighters.
In keeping with the custom, the bells of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel will ring at the beginning of the memorial service Sunday, Oct. 6, in tribute to the fallen heroes.
The Washington Fire Department and the NFF invite area churches and their congregations to be part of this remembrance by ringing church bells, saying a brief prayer, and instituting a moment of silence or any other type of remembrance during that weekend.
Last year, many fire departments from around the country and their places of worship participated in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters.
This year, WFD personnel will attend the NFF Memorial on the grounds of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md.
Washington Firefighter Terry Sullentrup will lead the group of four Washington firefighters to Maryland for a weekend of memorial ceremonies and other activities to honor 81 firefighters across America who were killed in the line of duty in 2012.
The firefighters going on the trip include Olivia Aholt, Doug Trentmann, Jim Roman and Al Lampe. They will train to take part in some of the ceremonies and activities when they arrive in Emmitsburg.
It is the seventh year Sullentrup has taken local firefighters to the NFF
“It’s fantastic,” Sullentrup said. “There are hundreds of firefighters involved. It’s a sacred time and a very emotional experience.”