More than 5,000 people are expected to honor the memories of 157 union firefighters and emergency service personnel who died in the line of duty at Saturday's 27th annual International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Observance in Colorado Springs.
Family members and firefighters from all over the United States and Canada are expected to fill Memorial Park in the culmination of the national ceremony, IAFF Local 5 President Jeremy Kroto said.
"This is a celebration of their loved ones, a chance to reconnect with their firefighter family. It's an uplifting experience," Kroto said.
A large procession of fire engines and vehicles from throughout Colorado and about 400 firefighter motorcyclists will depart from The Promenade Shops at Briargate at noon. They will travel east on Briargate Parkway to Union Boulevard and make their way south to Pikes Peak Avenue. Road closures will roll along with procession, Kroto said.
The ceremony will kick off at Memorial Park at 1 p.m. with the honor guard and presentation of the flags made up of about 1,000 people, Kroto said.
"Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony and honor their spirit and dedication," Kroto said.
Mayor Steve Bach, Colorado Springs Fire Chief Chris Riley and IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger will attend Saturday's event.
Road closures Saturday will include East Pikes Peak Avenue from North Institute Street to North Union Boulevard and South Hancock Avenue from East Costilla Street to East Pikes Peak Avenue, from 7 a.m. to the conclusion of the memorial ceremony.