WHAT:National EMS Memorial Service Closes Out the 2019 Weekend of Honor
WHEN: Saturday, May 18 at 5:00 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill, MD WHO: Families, friends, and colleagues of the 26 EMS and air medical professionals who lost their lives in the line of duty in service to others will be in attendance. Honor guards along with bagpipe and drum corps travel from around the United States to volunteer their time and services in honor of the fallen.This year Katie Orsino, Executive Director of the National EMS Memorial Foundation, will share her thoughts on the importance of the Weekend of Honor. There will also be a team from HOPE Animal-assisted Crisis Response (http://hopeaacr.org) at the service to provide comfort and support to the families, colleagues and volunteers.
DETAILS: According to Jana Williams, president of the National EMS Memorial Service, “The purpose of the service is twofold – to honor the lives of our fallen colleagues and to provide hope, along with our unwavering support, to their families. We feel it is the responsibility of the EMS community to stand by the families during this time of tremendous loss and sometimes overwhelming grief. The annual memorial service offers an opportunity for the family, friends and associates of fallen EMS providers to meet and connect with others who understand what they’re going through.”
During the service each honoree’s family is presented with the following three items:
A U.S. flag that has flown over the Nation’s Capital – denoting the honoree’s service to country
A white rose – representing undying love
A medallion – signifying eternal memory
A national moment of silence is called during the service at approximately 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) and EMS agencies across the U.S. participate in 30 seconds of radio silence in remembrance of the fallen. Additionally, a tribute video, prepared specifically in honor and remembrance of the year’s honorees, will be shown.
Every year of the National EMS Memorial “Tree of Life,” 1993-2019, will be on display. A large panel for each year features an image of an oak tree with bronze leaves that are engraved with the names of fallen honorees. There will be a permanent memorial once the National EMS Memorial Foundation (NEMSMF) has achieved their fundraising goal for construction. According to David Kamlan, Director-NEMSMF Media Relations, “the National EMS Memorial Foundation is once again honored to participate in the Weekend of Honor. As this time of remembrance approaches, we are again reminded that there currently is no permanent memorial for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We renew our resolve and commitment to give these silent heroes a fitting memorial in our Nation’s capitol so that their loved ones, co-workers and colleagues will be able to visit a sacred place in which to remember those we have lost.”
A Candlelight Ceremony will close out the evening. A light reception sponsored by the Board of Directors of the National EMS Memorial Service follows and all participants are invited to attend.