The memorial foundation as with all other organizations involved with group gatherings has been faced with very challenging decisions this year. Our regular spring meeting in May involving the Saturday night candlelight and Sunday morning service was moved to October 10th and 11th in hopes of things returning to normal. In early August, the Foundation determined that was not going to work.
This year we will not be able to meet in a large group given the on-going safety concerns with COVID-19, especially if the weather forced us to move inside. In the tradition of the fire service, we opted to adapt and overcome.
After reviewing several options that have been used as an alternative to large group meetings versus accepting an outright cancellation, the Foundation has decided to follow a similar program used by the Missouri Law Memorial Foundation. We are going to present a virtual service and it is our most sincere prayer that this will be the first and last time to do so. When so many deserve such honors, an outright cancellation is just not an option.
Some changes have been made to the normal two service agenda. The plan for this year only is to have only one service and the Foundation has selected the Sunday morning agenda with a few modifications.
The program will be virtual beginning Sunday morning October 11th at 10:30 a.m. Information on how to connect will be made available. In the absence of our Saturday evening program, our three line-of-duty-death honors will receive a reading of their service and sacrifice during the program. The name, department, and years of service for those who have passed during 2019 will be read aloud. The visual program normally presented during the Saturday evening candlelight service will be made available following October 11th. The Foundation will make one DVD available for free to each name that is honored. Additional copies if needed can be purchased. It will have the Sunday service and the visual presentation that is normally presented Saturday evening.
In closing, please know that your foundation painstaking reviewed and balanced the duty in honoring those who have served while keeping in mind the safety of the families given the challenges currently at hand. We thank you for your understanding of the decisions that had to be made and pledge to do our best in providing the honors as best that we can with these revisions for 2020.