Firefighters Memorial Day – 4th May
Members will be aware that a key part of our FBU centenary plans is to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of firefighters killed and injured in the line of duty. Similarly, one of the founding motivations for the Firefighters 100 Lottery is to support, establish and maintain memorials in honour of fallen comrades.
Clearly, the Firefighters Memorial Trust are the standard bearers in this area and the FBU have welcomed being involved in a positive and on-going dialogue with lead members of the Trust. Whilst respecting each other’s independence, the Firefighters Memorial Trust, the FBU and the Firefighters 100 Lottery have agreed to work together on a number of memorial initiatives and initial feedback indicates others within the fire and rescue community will be supportive.
Therefore, I am delighted the Firefighters Memorial Trust has announced “Firefighters Memorial Day” to take place on 4th May each year, with observance of a minute’s silence at midday. The Executive Council has also discussed and endorsed this initiative. This day is intended primarily for local fire crews serving at fire stations, control rooms and other workplaces, rooted in our local communities. It is also an opportunity for former firefighters, our families and the wider community to join us in honouring the ultimate sacrifice of firefighters who have died on duty.
The first Firefighters Memorial Day will be on Thursday 4th May 2017. We suggest keeping our ambitions realistic for this first year. Accordingly, I ask all FBU members to help support arrangements for on-duty personnel to observe the minute’s silence at midday by forming a memorial parade, on the station forecourt, at as many fire stations as possible throughout the UK. Depending on local practicalities, it may be appropriate for retained members to organise your memorial parade to take place at a different time on that day. Of course, all such arrangements would be a matter for local crews, FBU reps and service managers to arrange in a spirit of cooperation.
Looking forward to next year and future years, I hope FBU members will help expand plans for Firefighters Memorial Day by incorporating our on-duty observance of the minute’s silence within a more inclusive remembrance event at your fire station to which former firefighters, next of kin, local dignitaries and members of the community may be invited.
In closing, I hope all FBU members will embrace Firefighters Memorial Day and will play your part in making local arrangements each and every year, as would be fitting to honour the bravery and sacrifice of all firefighters who have died on duty whilst serving their communities.