SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Uniformed firefighters, family members, and grateful Californians came together in the shadow of the State Capitol Saturday, to honor those who have paid the ultimate price. In a solemn midday ceremony, the names of 16 fallen firefighters were added to the California Firefighters Memorial.
"We come together to grieve for our fallen brothers and to remember what they stood for … duty, honor and courage," said Lou Paulson, chair of the California Fire Foundation and president of California Professional Firefighters. "This proud memorial is a tribute to their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their families."
Located at the center of Sacramento's Capitol Park, the California Firefighters Memorial bears the names of nearly 1,300 California firefighters who have died in the line of duty since California became a state in 1850, whether from traumatic injury or job-related illness.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris and musical and acting star Jaime Camil joined dignitaries from throughout the state at the ceremony, which featured a procession of uniformed firefighters, musical tributes and the presentation of flags to family members of the fallen.
"As firefighters, you come to us on what may be the worst day of our lives and you help us heal," said Camil. "I know you feel our gratitude, but we can never say it enough: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are all heroes."
Unveiled in April of 2002, the California Firefighters Memorial features two stunning statues and a dramatic Memorial Wall carrying the engraved names of California's fallen firefighters. The Memorial was created without any state funding through private contributions to the California Fire Foundation, most of them directly from firefighters.
The annual California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony is conducted by the California Fire Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization created by California Professional Firefighters in 1987. The Foundation's mission is to aid fallen firefighter families and the communities they protect through an array of public education and victim assistance projects. (www.cafirefoundation.org).
PHOTOS FROM CEREMONY, HONOREES, FULL BACKGROUND INFO: http://bit.ly/1MbRCqy.
CONTACT: James Noonan, CA Fire Foundation; (800) 890-3213 (office); (760) 445-7094 (cell)\
SOURCE California Fire Foundation