Lt. Clint Hardemon, a Volunteer Firefighter from West Blocton, Alabama was honored during a National Ceremony held in Emmitsburg, Maryland today. Mr. Hardemon suffered a fatal heart attack after responding to a fire call in August 2017. The ceremony was attended by his son, C.J. Hardemon, also a Volunteer Firefighter, and West Blocton Fire Chief Joe McCool.
During the 37th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 7, 2018, the U.S. Fire Service honored the lives of 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2017 and 23 firefighters who died in previous years.
The names of the firefighters were read, and their loved ones received an American flag that had been flown above the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the U.S. Capitol Dome. They were presented with a red rose and a special personalized badge. During the ceremony, a bronze plaque bearing the names of the fallen was officially added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
The service was held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
“Memorials are created so there will always be a special place to remember and honor our loved ones. In 1981, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was created to pay tribute to these men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Chief Dennis Compton, Chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Board of Directors. “Everyone who visits the memorial pauses to not only honor the fallen firefighters, but to also honor the strength and courage of their loved ones.”
Members of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus presented 103 American flags that were flown over the U.S. Capitol to the NFFF during a brief ceremony on Thursday, October 4th at 10:30 am (ET) in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building. The flags were displayed in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel until the memorial service on Sunday when they were presented to the families.
C.J. Hardemon told The Bibb Voice that his father had joined the Volunteer Fire Department about four years earlier after encouragement from his son, C.J. who was already on the department. Both father and son, lifelong residents of the West Blocton community, enjoyed serving their community as volunteers. C.J. said “it is a humbling honor for my family to be invited to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and for my father to have received this recognition and honor. I know that he would have been proud to know that his service was appreciated by so many.”