Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is recognizing the 40th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day in honor of the first responders who have died in the line of duty.
In recognition of the national memorial holiday that spans the weekend, names of 215 firefighters who died in service will become a permanent part of the National Memorial located in Emmitsburg, Maryland in a memorial event. COVID-related line-of-duty deaths will also be honored in the tribute and will continue to be in the future, according to a news release from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Patronis released a statement recognizing the fallen firefighters as well as reflecting on the sacrifice many first responders made on 9/11.
“On National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day, our nation will stop to honor 215 brave firefighters from across our country who selflessly served their communities and gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Patronis said in a statement. “This year, as we reflect on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, it reminds us of the amazing sacrifices that our firefighters and first responders make every day to keep us safe. Every time they answer a call, they put their lives in harm’s way to protect us and they deserve our deepest gratitude. May God bless these fallen heroes and their families. Their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
Seven Florida firefighters will be honored at the national memorial ceremony, including:
— Jeffrey Glenn Atkinson
— Barry L. Boulton Sr.
— Dwain S. Bradshaw
— Anthony C. Christensen
— Rick Allen DeMorgan Jr.
— Scott Robert Neumann
— Brian Stephen Smith
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will present each family with an American flag flown over the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the U.S. Capitol
In 2020, 87 firefighters died in the line of duty, and 82 died in 2019. Forty-six firefighters who died in the line of duty in previous years will also be honored.