The Seattle Fire Department gathered to honor the 87 firefighters nationally who are being memorialized for dying in the line of duty.
Seattle’s local ceremony marks the beginning of the 34th Annual National Fallen Firefighter Memorial weekend held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. During the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial weekend, firefighters from around the country honor those courageous firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Firefighters and community members gathered in front of the Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial, which pays tribute to all 43 Seattle firefighters who have died in the line of duty. The memorial was inspired by the four Seattle Firefighters who died in the 1995 Mary Pang Warehouse Fire.
Rich in firefighter tradition, the ceremony began and ended with the presentation of colors by the Walter Kilgore Memorial Honor Guard. The Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums band played several musical selections and the audience heard from City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, Local 27 President Lieutenant Kenny Stuart, Deputy Chief Charles Cordova and Fire Department Chaplain Joel Ingebritson.
This year, Seattle Firefighter Keith Johnson will be added to the memorial and was honored at the service. Johnson joined the department in 1975, getting his start on Ladder 8 at Station 18. He spent time on Engine 35 and as the driver of Ladder 6 at Station 8. He moved to the Fire Marshal’s Office in 2007, where he served as a Special Hazards Inspector until he passed from cancer in December 2014. Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins spoke of his career and accomplishments, closing with a heartfelt thank you, “thank you Firefighter Johnson for your thirty-nine years of service and dedication to your duties.”