National EMS Memorial Honors Line-of-Duty Deaths

09NationalEMSMemorialFor the past 17 years, EMS providers who have died in the line of duty have been honored each May at the National EMS Memorial Service. The 17th Annual National EMS Memorial Service will take place on May 23, 2009, at 6 pm (EDT) at the First Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia.

During the service, a family member or agency representative receives an American flag that has flown over the US Capitol (denoting the honoree’s service to the country); a white rose, representing undying love; and a medallion, signifying eternal memory.

The National EMS Memorial is composed of the Tree of Life and the Memorial Book. The Tree of Life is a representation of an oak tree, symbolizing strength. The name, agency, and date of loss of each National EMS Memorial Service honoree is engraved on a bronze oak leaf, which is then added to the Tree of Life. The Memorial Book contains a page for each National EMS Memorial Service honoree. These pages contain photos, biographies, and agency patches for each individual honored. The Memorial Book is kept on display near the Tree of Life.

During this year’s memorial service weekend, the pages for each of the 2009 honorees will be mounted and displayed next to the Tree of Life. At the conclusion of the weekend, these pages will be added to the Memorial Book.

This is the last year that the National EMS Memorial Service will be held in Roanoke. Beginning in 2010, Colorado Springs will be the new home of the National EMS Memorial Service and the National EMS Memorial Tree of Life.

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