Fallen firefighters honored with memorial service

Jamie Forzato, wtop.com

EMMITSBURG, Md. – They are gone but not forgotten. Firefighters from all over the nation who were killed in the line of duty are being honored during the 2012 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Frederick County, Maryland.

Thousands of people packed the Mount Saint Mary’s University auditorium today to pay their respects at the National Memorial Service. The service is normally held at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, but was moved this year because of the rain.

The names of 85 firefighters written on a bronze plaque will be added to the list of 3,600 others who sacrificed their lives in the past 30 years. Each name was read during the ceremony.

Chief Ernie Mitchell Jr., the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration, thanked the heroes and their families for their courage.

“The service and sacrifice represented today by these firefighters and their survivors should be an inspiration to us all,” he said.

Baltimore County firefighter and paramedic Mark G. Falkenhan was among those honored. He died last year while battling an apartment fire.

President Obama ordered the United States flag to be flown at half-staff today.

A candlelight service was held at the memorial on Saturday.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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