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All U.S. Flags to fly Half-Staff in Honor of National Fallen Firefighters Memorial

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All U.S. flags should be lowered to half-staff this Sunday, October 9, 2022, in honor of National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Flags should fly half-staff from sunrise to sunset. There were 148 firefighters whoAuburn Examiner  lost their lives since last year’s memorial.

Read the Presidental Proclamation from President Joe Biden: A Proclamation on Fire Prevention Week, 2022

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Firefighter Jeff Conover
East Pierce F&R

A memorial graphic for fallen Firefighter Jeff Conover, pictured in his East PIerce Fire and Rescue uniform.
Fallen East PIerce Fire & Rescue firefighter Jeff Conover | EPFR

This year you may also notice local firefighters wearing a black mourning band, even beyond the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend. East Pierce Fire and Rescue lost one of their own this week, active duty firefighter Jeff Conover. According to EPFR, Jeff passed away unexpectedly during an off-duty incident on October 5th.

“Beginning his fire service career with the Sumner Fire Department (an EPFR legacy department) in April 2002, Jeff has been part of the EPFR family for 20+ years,” an EPFR Facebook post said. “Our entire fire service family holds Jeff’s wife, children, and family up during this unimaginable time. As we plan to honor Jeff’s life, more information will be shared in the coming days.”

The Auburn Examiner extends our most heartfelt condolences to Jeff’s family, fire family, friends, and loved ones.The East PIerce F&R logo with a mourning ribbon for Jeff Conover

Firefighter Dave Lewis
VRFA

Valley Regional Fire Authority firefighter Dave Lewis passed in December 2019 after a long battle with occupational cancer. He was added to the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Emmitsville, Maryland in 2020, and honored in the 2021 ceremony. 

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“Earlier this month, VRFA Honor Guard members BC Kinnee, Deputy Fire Marshal Irvine, Firefighter Sequist, and Firefighter Butler traveled to Colorado Springs to memorialize firefighters lost in the line of duty,” VRFA said in a social media post.

“The names of 469 fallen firefighters were added to the Memorial Wall of Honor, including Firefighter David Lewis, who served the Algona, Auburn, and Pacific communities for 28 years. Lewis  His name will forever be remembered alongside 8,652 firefighters dating back to 1918 who made the ultimate sacrifice serving their communities.”

Four members of the VRFA honr guard stand in a line flanking the IAFF memorial bell. The individual on either end holds a flag, the left VRFA the right WA state.
Members from VRFA’s honor guard attend a ceremony to add the names of fallen firefighters to the Memorial Wall of Honor. | VRFA

You might also like: VRFA Firefighter Dave Lewis Honored During 40th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

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National Fallen Firefighters Memorial

On October 16, 2001, President George W. Bush signed legislation asking that the American flag be lowered to half-staff on all Federal buildings to honor fallen firefighters. The resulting Public Law 107-51 involves this action to occur every year in conjunction with the observance of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service weekend (October 7-9, 2022.)

To be clear, the actual flag-lowering should be done on the last day, which is the 9th. This doesn’t mean that it only applies to Federal buildings, everyone is encouraged to join in this observance. Individual state Governors will most likely make their own proclamations and so will the President of the United States of America.
Firefighters are frequently the first officials “on the scene” after a fire, a car accident, or another emergency, which is why they are called “first responders.” These women and men make the choice to put their life on the line for the communities they serve.  To mark both the solemn loss and key achievements of members of this vital emergency service, firefighter challenge coins are often designed and traded.

Regrettably, this is one of the most overlooked half-staff memorials, likely due to being held on a Sunday.

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