Seattle Fire Department officials invite the public to join them Friday in honoring the 51 Seattle firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

The Fire Department will hold an event at the Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Occidental Park on Friday morning.

Between 8 and 8:15 p.m. Friday, firefighters at all of Seattle’s 33 fire stations will pull all the fire engines, ladder trucks, aid cars and medic units outside the apparatus bay and turn on the emergency lights, the Fire Department said.

The morning ceremony will be livestreamed on the department’s Facebook page.

The annual commemoration — a little over a week before the 41st annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend at the National Fire Academy in Maryland — will take place from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in Occidental Square at 117 S. Washington St.

The observance begins and ends with a presentation of colors by the Walter Kilgore Memorial Honor Guard and will feature the Seattle Firefighters Pipes and Drums band as well as words from city and fire officials, according Fire Department spokesperson Kristin Tinsley.


The memorial in Occidental Park — four life-size bronze figures of firefighters surrounded by slabs of solid granite — was inspired by one of the city’s great tragedies: the deaths of four firefighters in the Pang warehouse fire on Jan. 5, 1995.

The names of the four killed in that arson — Walter Kilgore, Randall Terlicker, Gregory Allen Shoemaker and James T. Brown — are etched on the memorial.

But the sculpture is seen not only as a tribute to them and all the firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty, said former Seattle Fire Chief James Sewell at the 1998 unveiling, but also to the heroism, bravery and compassion of the entire force.

“People love firefighters because they’re heroes and there are so few heroes left,” Kathy Fies, a member of the board that commissioned the memorial, said that day. “They save people, they save property, and they put their lives on the line every day.”

Information from The Seattle Times archives is included in this post.