The sound of a bell holds special significance for firefighters. Historically, the toll of a bell summoned members to the station, signaled the beginning of a shift, notified departments of a call for help, and indicated a call was completed and the unit had returned to the station.
Departments sounded a series of bells when a firefighter died in the line of duty to alert all members that a comrade had made the ultimate sacrifice. This time-honored tradition continues today during the funerals or memorial services for firefighters.
For the second year, bells will ring from coast to coast as a grateful nation pauses on Sunday, October 7, 2012 to honor those firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2011. Fire departments and their places of worship will join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) for the Second Annual Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters, part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
The moment of remembrance can occur at any time during Memorial Weekend, October 6 & 7. Fire department representatives are encouraged to work with their clergy and community leaders to develop an appropriate tribute.