More than 800 IAFF members from the United States and Canada are spending the day at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado conducting several full rehearsals in preparation for the 26th Annual Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Ceremony on Saturday.
With 154 names of fallen IAFF members added to the Wall of Honor this year, there are many pipe and drum players participating in the ceremony for the first time. It is estimated that 60 percent of those participating are new to the event.
Several columns of marchers marched in tandem in and around Memorial Park while several sector commanders barked marching orders from behind bull horns. The sound of hundreds of pipes and drum echoed across the park on a clear blue day as an early snow topped Pikes Peak on the western horizon.
The new and the veteran pipe and drum members are well prepared to show the expected 5,000 family members how much their fallen fire fighters means to the International Association of Professional Fire Fighters and it's more than 300,000 members. Organizers nonetheless appeared intent on making sure that every detail was addressed.
This morning, some 600 fire fighters on motorcycles and 50 fire apparatus' will begin their ride from Lakewood, Colorado - which is 60 miles to the north - to arrive at Memorial Park in time for the ceremony.