COLORADO SPRINGS — For the first time since the pandemic's start, firefighters from across the United States and Canada gathered in Colorado Springs to memorialize those lost due to service to their communities.
This weekend marks the 2022 IAFF Fire Fighter Memorial and it was a big one as the International Association of Fire Fighters is inviting all the families impacted by cancellations in 2020 and 2021 to join in person for the event.
The names of 469 fallen firefighters will be added to the Memorial Wall of Honor at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, including the names of those lost in the line of duty during 2020 and 2021.
Lori Jackson attended the memorial today to honor her husband Troy S. Jackson of the South Metro Fire Department in Denver.
"As a family member of someone who has fallen, it is just an acknowledgment personally and forever of what he did," said Jackson.
"My husband was a great leader, mentor, husband, Christian, father. And during the whole process, he had a seven-year battle, he was asked 'what would you do differently?'. He said, 'I would not change a thing," according to Jackson.
Troy Jackson passed away from a rare form of throat cancer due to his activities on the job. IAFF General President Edward Kelly says cancer is a leading cause of death for firefighters.
"We take the loss of our brothers and sisters very seriously," said Kelly. "Sacrifices we make as firefighters we know takes a toll on our families. Today is about showing the families of our fallen that their loss is not our loss".
On the Memorial Wall of Honor, you will find the names of all members whose deaths are considered in the line of duty, whether on the scene or those who succumbed to occupational illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and suicide. The names of 8,652 firefighters, dating back to 1918, are featured in a series of polished granite stones
The event was at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 17.
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