“These families are being denied” a sacred moment says Cathy Hedrick, director of Survivor Programs for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Her son, Kenny, was killed trying to rescue people in a house fire.
The 81 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2012 and in previous years will not have their names read aloud as originally planned during a Sunday ceremony at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md.
Families attending a Sunday ceremony elsewhere will not be able to see their loved ones’ names on bronze plaques acknowledging their addition to the memorial.
That makes their deaths a double tragedy, according to Hendrick. She says that simple act can help bring closure.
“It was remarkable for me to come to Emmitsburg and hear my son’s name read at a national memorial and understanding that a nation said ‘thank you’ for his sacrifice,” says Hendrick.