The first weekend in October is designated as National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service weekend. The firefighters lost to the brotherhood the year prior are recognized in a memorial ceremony during the weekend.
The names of each of the fallen are etched into the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, a permanent reminder of their selfless sacrifice.
Though Valley Regional Fire Authority firefighter Dave Lewis‘ name was engraved on the memorial last October, he and the 102 firefighters for 2020 were not honored in a memorial due to the pandemic. The 2020 roll of honor was read during this weekend’s 40th annual memorial weekend.
During the ceremony, each fallen firefighter’s name and department are announced. Escorted by a member of the fire service, the family of the firefighter is presented with an American flag, a specialized patch, and a red rose. The flags have all been flown over both the United States Capitol and the National Firefighter Memorial.
Joining the Auburn Fire Department in 1982, Dave served the Auburn community for nearly 28 years before retiring in 2010. He passed away in December 2019 after a long battle with occupational cancer.
“David loved the outdoors,” states his National Fallen Firefight Foundation’s memorial page.“He enjoyed hiking and long walks with his wife, Pam, and spending time with his grandchildren. He had a passion for riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and playing music on his many guitars. Dave loved reading his bible and attending church.”
Dave was honored in February 2020 by his family, loved ones, and fellow firefighters at a celebration of life, where his strength, work ethic, and compassion were fondly remembered. You can read Dave’s National Fallen Firefight Foundation’s memorial here.
Other Washington Firefighters Remembered
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In addition to Dave Lewis, the following Washington state firefighters were also honored this weekend:
Steven S. Bailie – Kennewick Fire Department
Alan Dean Basso – Cowlitz County Fire District #5
Darrell W. Dabling – Hanford Fire Department
Christian D. Johnson – Okanogan County Fire District #3
Philip Bryan Oldham – Grays Harbor Fire District 2
Darlene G. Raffelson – Tumwater Fire Department
Kirk Dean Robinson – Bothell Fire Department
Scott Bernard Thomas – M&M Air Services of Beaumont, Inc.
Don Waller – Okanogan County Fire District 6
Jay Garth Wheeler – Seattle Fire Department