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30th Fallen Heroes Day honors police, firefighters killed in line of duty

4/24/2015, 5:06 a.m.
On Friday, May 1, 2015, hundreds of law enforcement officers and firefighters, dignitaries and members of the community, family and ...
Photo Caption: The 30th Fallen Heroes Day will be held on Friday, May 1, 2015 at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens located at 200 East Padonia Road in Timonium, Maryland. Fall Heroes Day salutes police and correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical and rescue personnel who risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of Maryland. (Photo: Bill McAllen)

— On Friday, May 1, 2015, hundreds of law enforcement officers and firefighters, dignitaries and members of the community, family and friends will gather at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens for the 30th Annual Fallen Heroes Day, a day set-aside to honor and remember those who died in the line of duty.

The 1 p.m. ceremony, which honors those whose deaths have been declared "line of duty" during the past year, is the only statewide ceremony in the nation that brings together all segments of the public safety community. Fallen Heroes Day salutes police and correctional officers; firefighters; emergency medical and rescue personnel who risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of Maryland.

Since the May 2014 Fallen Heroes Day ceremony, three firefighters and three police officers have died in the line of duty. They are:

·FADO Robert Fogle, III, Baltimore County Fire Department, May 30, 2014

·Lt. James Bethea, Baltimore City Fire Department, November 12, 2014

·Corporal Jamel Clagett, Charles County Sheriff’s Office, December 21, 2014

·Paramedic Erik Steciak, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, January 6, 2015

·Officer Craig Chandler, Baltimore

Police Department, January 9, 2015

·Officer First Class Brennan Rabain, Prince George’s County Police Department, March 7, 2015

The 30th Annual Fallen Heroes Day ceremony is dedicated to John W. Armiger, Jr., the ceremony's founder, who passed away in March of this year.

The ceremony begins with a procession of more than 25 honor guard units from across the state, police motorcycle and ounted units, bagpipers and drummers. WBAL news anchor Stan Stovall will be the keynote speaker; Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and retired Baltimore Fire Chief Herman Williams will give memorial addresses. Cathy Hedrick, the mother of Kenny Hedrick who was a volunteer firefighter with Morningside Volunteer Fire Department, a Fallen Hero honored in 1992, will speak as a survivor. Mary Beth Marsden (WBAL Radio) will serve as the emcee.

During the ceremony, after each 2015 fallen hero is remembered, their family will be presented with a replica of the Fallen Heroes Memorial and a resolution from the Maryland General Assembly. Additionally, each year police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty before Fallen Heroes Day was established in 1986, are remembered with a presentation of a Governor's Proclamation to their families. The ceremony concludes with a wreath laying, 21-gun salute, taps, and a fly-over.

"For nearly 30 years, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens has honored Maryland's fallen heroes— public servants who have given their lives in the line of duty," says John O. Mitchell, III, Chairman of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. "Fallen Heroes Day provides an opportunity for the citizens of Maryland to take time to show appreciation and respect for the men and women who risk their lives each day when they report to work. We are proud to continue the tradition begun by the Armiger family."

Keeping with tradition, Governor Larry Hogan has issued a proclamation declaring May 1, 2015 as Fallen Heroes Day in Maryland and has ordered flags flown at half-staff at the State House and all state facilities.

The Fallen Heroes Memorial is located within Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 East Padonia Road in Timonium, Maryland.

The observance is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-666-0490 or visit: www.dulaneyvalley.com. Follow Fallen Heroes Day on Faceboook: Honoring Fallen Heroes Dulaney Valley.