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My good friend Billy reminded me that this Sunday, October 5, the U.S. flag is to be flown to half-staff as per the orders of the President of the United States in Public Law 107-51 signed on October 16, 2001. The American flag is to be lowered to half-staff on all federal buildings and across the U.S. in conjunction with the National Fallen Firefighters annual Memorial service.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to attend the memorial services at the National Fire Academy in Emmetsburg, Maryland, you owe it to yourself to go. There are very few activities which could match the impact that this day will have on your life. This Sunday, 101 new names will be added to the memorial: 101 brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, real people, your friends, my friends. Nothing brings home that fact more than when you are sitting there and you see the moms, dads, kids, the widows and widowers, and you realize the incredible void that is left behind when one of us is taken away. To learn more about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Memorial weekend go to

All of us know that our greatest act of bravery is when we agree to be a firefighter. Our second greatest act maybe when we truly accept the responsibility to never forget and agree to always be there for our brothers and sisters. And consequently when they are no longer with us we accept the honor of always being there for their families. No one expects every firefighter in America to make it to the memorial, but we do expect each and every one of us to reverently lower our nation's flag to staff in honor this year of the 101 who are no longer with us.

Please make an effort to notify your city managers, your mayors, your neighbors, and friends that this Sunday, October 5, we all take a moment and remember the thousands of firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation, their community, and their neighbors. May they rest in peace and God bless America.

posted by Bobby Halton
10/02/2008 06:29:00 PM

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