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Firefighters from across the United States of America gathered together this weekend at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Maryland.  This is an annual gathering honoring those brothers (and sisters) who gave their lives in service of others.

Playing the pipes and drums is how we honor our fallen; no spoken words – side by side with respect and honor.

This year firefighters (and pipers and drummers) from across North Carolina had the opportunity to come together in fraternal fellowship to honor our fallen comrades.  Although we work for different agencies, play different instruments in different bands and wear different kilts – music brings us together FOR OUR FALLEN.

The 33rd Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service honored five firefighters from North Carolina who died in the line of duty last year. They were among the 98 firefighters who died in 2013, as well as nine firefighters who died in previous years, remembered at the official national service held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD.

  • Firefighter Tony Barker, age 36
    Mountain View Volunteer Fire Department
    Died after being electrocuted while operating at a fire on June 13, 2013.
  • Assistant Chief Jeffrey L. Fields, age 51
    Youngsville Volunteer Fire Department
    Died December 25, 2013, from a heart attack after responding on a motor vehicle accident on December 12, 2013.
  • Captain David A. Heath, age 48
    New Hanover County Fire Rescue
    Collapsed then died while participating in department training on October 14, 2013.
  • Fire Chief Scott A. Morrison, age 44
    Knotts Island Volunteer Fire Department
    Died after he collapsed at the scene of a brush fire on March 3, 2013.
  • Captain Jon Schondelmayer, age 44
    Cary Fire Department [also Firefighter with Swift Creek Fire Department] Died after responding to multiple calls on December 18, 2013.

Our hearts go out to the families of these fallen firefighters.  They’ve become members of a fraternity no one seeks to join.  These heroes are no longer with us. But we can tell you in our hearts, we will always remember and be grateful for your husband, your wife, your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your daughter, your son. We will make sure that their names and their memories live on in the hearts, minds, and souls of our community for generations to come. This is our commitment to you. This is our duty —- For Our Fallen.

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