Kulis firefighters honor fallen comrades

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. John Callahan
  • 176th Wing Public Affairs
To mark National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, the Kulis Fire Department honored their fallen brothers around the country in a solemn flag-raising ceremony here the morning of Sunday, Oct. 3.

With the department gathered and standing at attention, members of the 176th Security Forces Squadron raised the flag in front of the Headquarters Building to full height, then lowered it to half-mast. Participants then observed a moment of silence, paid in respect to fallen colleagues, and listened to a few words from a wing chaplain, Maj. Matthew Friese.

"This is a very humbling time for those of us who wear the badge -- recognizing that fellow firefighters lost their lives, leaving family and loved ones bereft," said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Brauneis, Kulis' fire chief.

Fire departments around the country annually observe the ceremony, organized by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Fire Administration.

The 2010 ceremony specifically honored the 80 firefighters around the country who died in the line of duty in 2009. Military firefighters who died while performing firefighting duties from 1981-2009 are among 25 from previous years who are also honored.