IAFF memorial in Colorado Springs honors over 500 fallen firefighters

October 3, 2023
firefighter memorial

Fallen firefighter memorial adds new names

More than 500 names have been recently added to the granite walls of the IAFF’s Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs.

These individuals, who made the ultimate sacrifice between 2021 and 2022, were honored during a poignant ceremony on September 16.

General President Edward Kelly reflects on the significance

“It’s not how they died, but how they lived,” remarked General President Edward Kelly. “Every firefighter, regardless of background or birth, is united by a common purpose: the desire to serve.”

He noted the various challenges they encountered such as occupational cancer, fatal injuries, illness, and even suicide.

Kelly emphasized that these sacrifices form the foundation of the firefighting profession and serve as a daily reminder of the risks involved.

Local support and the broader community

Curt Crumb, President of Colorado Springs Local 5, spoke about the immense pride both the Local 5 and the broader community feel towards the IAFF Memorial. “We are honored to be a part of this ceremony with you,” he shared.

A call to action from Mayor Yemi Mobolade

Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade stressed the importance of continued community support and the pursuit of the safest conditions for firefighters.

“One firefighter lost is one too many,” stated the Mayor. He further emphasized the necessity to invest in new technologies, training, and overall support for the well-being of firefighters.

Honoring the legacy of those who served

Following Mayor Mobolade’s statements, members of the IAFF Honor Guard read the names of the departed.

For each name, a bell was rung, and a flag salute rendered.

A flag from the International was then presented to each family.

In total, the bell resonated 572 times for the 572 brave men and women who gave their lives in service.

The scope of the memorial

Because of the pandemic, this year’s ceremony commemorated line-of-duty deaths from both 2021 (243 members) and 2022 (211 members).

Additionally, 118 line-of-duty deaths spanning from 1918 to 2020 were added.

These individuals succumbed to occupational diseases recently acknowledged by various authorities as line-of-duty incidents.

Currently, the memorial wall lists 9,224 IAFF members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

FSJA Comment

Recognizing and honoring fallen firefighters is a profound act of gratitude and respect by the IAFF and the larger community.

The additions to the memorial in Colorado Springs underscore the risks firefighters take every day.

By commemorating these heroes, the community, and the nation, highlight the selfless dedication these individuals showcased.

Their stories serve as a lasting testament, not just of their heroism but also the collective responsibility we hold to ensure the safety and well-being of those who serve.

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