COLORADO SPRINGS — It's an annual tradition in Colorado Springs that has been changed this year due to the COVID –19 pandemic.
The International Association of Firefighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial is located in Colorado Springs at Memorial Park. On the third Saturday in September, the union holds its solemn gathering to remember their members who've made the ultimate sacrifice.
This year, the memorial ceremony has gone virtual. Leaders want to make sure that the families of the fallen firefighters know their loved ones will never be forgotten. The names of 245 firefighters and emergency medical personnel, who died in the line of duty, have been etched onto the "wall of honor" and will be highlighted in the online event that starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 19.
Local organizers said that they still expect people to gather at the wall on Saturday and ask that if you plan on going to the park to please wear a mask and respect social distancing.
"The walls here, the way that they are spaced, it's going to be hard to get six feet apart. so, at least get those masks on. what we don't want to do is basically have people come here and then people leave here getting sick. that isn't what this is about, we're here to honor the fallen," said Mike Smaldino, IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Coordinator
Families of the fallen firefighters from 2019 will be invited back to be honored in essentially a double ceremony next year.
If you would like to view the virtual ceremony this year and for more information, click here.