History of the Memorial
Constructed in 1981, the 7-foot stone monument features a sculptured Maltese Cross, the traditional symbol of the fire service. An engraved plaque on the monument bears a message from President Ronald W. Reagan. At the base of the monument, an eternal flame symbolizes the spirit of all firefighters - past, present and future.
Plaques encircling the monument list the names of the men and women of the fire service who have died in service to their communities since 1981. Whenever a firefighter dies in the line of duty, fire officials post a notice of the death at the monument and lower flags at the site to half-staff.
Each year, America honors its fallen fire heroes during a National Memorial Service at the monument site. The ceremony includes the placing of a Presidential Wreath at the monument and dedication of a plaque honoring those who died in the line of duty during the previous year.
A Wall of Honor is now in place around the monument. The 1st plaque was placed on the wall with the names of the firefighters who died in the line of duty during 2004.
Work is now under way to expand the monument site to create a National Memorial Park.