Excerpts from the Fredericknewspost.com:

Thousands of people from across the nation gathered in Emmitsburg this weekend to pay tribute to fallen firefighters.

The 37th annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend was a chance for families, friends and colleagues to grieve and honor their loved ones killed in the line of duty. The names of each of the 80 firefighters killed in 2017, along with the names of 23 firefighters who died in previous years, were added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

Chief Dennis Compton, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation board chairman, welcomed the guests to the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg where the memorial is located. While many firefighters are uncomfortable with being called heroes, he said, the women and men who serve embody all the qualities of a hero — commitment, pride, courage and compassion.

“The men and women we are honoring today are not heroes because they died,” Compton said. “They became heroes to the people in their communities the day they signed up to be a firefighter. And you — their family and friends and co-workers — are also heroes because you supported their willingness to serve.”

During the service, the name of every firefighter was read aloud and a flag, badge, and rose was presented to family members or colleagues. Each of the 103 flags presented had been flown over the U.S. Capitol.

The names of the fallen firefighters will be added to the list of more than 5,000 present at the memorial, which was built in 1981. More than 1 million firefighters are currently serving throughout the United States.