Bells to Join the National Remembrance for Fallen Firefighters

The National Bell Festival is honored to participate in the National Remembrance for Fallen Firefighters, the official national tribute to all firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice responding to their last alarm. In the annual Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters ringing event, bells will toll in solemn tribute to those men and women who died in the line of duty. 

The sound of a bell holds special significance for firefighters. Long before there were telephones and radios in use in America, 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 fellow first responder had made the ultimate sacrifice. This time-honored tradition continues today during funerals or memorial services for firefighters.

We follow these traditions as symbols of honor and respect for those who have given so much and served so well. And so, for those who have selflessly devoted their lives for the good of their communities and fellow citizens, we invite you to ring along as the bells toll the last alarm to send the firefighters home.

Ring a bell in support.

Bells will ring from coast to coast as a grateful nation pauses on Sunday, October 9, 2022, to honor those firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2021 and in previous years. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is asking communities, fire service organizations, and places of worship to help honor fallen firefighters by participating in this bell ringing event and contributing to the reverent sound. 

A moment of remembrance can occur at any time leading up to and including the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. You might consider a moment of silence, a brief prayer, a hymn, a bell toll by members of the fire department, or any combination of these to pay your respects.

Cover image: The traditional five bell salute is given during a memorial service on Sep. 11, 2012, at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, for the 343 firefighters fallen during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Courtesy: National Archives and Records Administration.