JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - This weekend, Oct. 10-12, is National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Weekend. Bells will ring across the nation to honor those firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2013, and previous years, as firefighters join the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) in the Fourth Annual Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters, part of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend
Firefighters in the Laurel and Jones County areas invite the public to join them at the flagpoles in front of the Jones County Emergency Operations Center Sunday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m.
The bells will sound for local fallen firefighters, Clarence Hinton, who was the Fire Chief for the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department when he was killed in a fire apparatus rollover accident, and Sally Rene Clark, who was a member of the Pleasant Ridge Volunteer Fire Department when she died of a heart attack after a training exercise.
The bell will also sound for the 98, from across the nation, who died in the line of duty in 2013, according to the NFFF.
The ringing of the bells has a special significance for firefighters.
Years ago, a gong sounded to alert all firefighters to come to the station, to notify other departments of the need for help, and to indicate a call was complete and everyone was back at the station.
When a firefighter died in the line of duty, a series of bells would sound informing others that a comrade had made the ultimate sacrifice.
This tradition continues today, and can be heard during funerals and memorial service.