National Wildfire Coordinating Group

2023 Week of Remembrance Day 7

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It Takes All of Us to Get Through the Tough Days.
South Canyon Fire (Colorado) – July 6, 1994

Today’s topic is dedicated to all fallen firefighters.
May we never stop learning.


It has been 29 years since the South Canyon Fire. Remembering the Fallen 14 today impacts survivors, family, and friends. As we honor the fallen, we also grieve their loss. Today is dedicated to helping us navigate the ‘anniversary effect’ and to provide techniques to assist with the reactions we feel. After a loss or highly stressful event, it is common to experience heightened emotions and memories associated with the anniversary date. While anniversaries during the first years after a loss can be particularly difficult, it is normal for anniversary reactions to occur years after an event. If you think an anniversary may be challenging. A few suggestions follow for making plans to help navigate this time of year.

Learn about Grief:

Grief is a normal and healthy response to loss. Grief is not a single emotion; rather a range of emotions that might include sadness, anxiety, irritability, or longing. It is a myth that grief happens in a set of defined stages, and that we “get over” grief with time. Moving forward after loss often involves an evolving experience of grief and a process of integrating a loss into our lives.

Create an anniversary tradition:

Create a tradition to honor the fallen that is personally meaningful. Hike to a significant place each year, donate to a charity, host a gathering, or write a letter to the person you lost.

Connect with others:

Make plans to be around others if you expect it will be difficult to be alone. Reach out to friends and family of the fallen to remember those you have lost and to offer support.

Seek Help:

At times, grief can feel overwhelming. Reach out for support to help get through hard times from trusted peers or mental health professionals.


Discussion items:

  • How can you support others who may be struggling after loss?
  • What are some ways we can remember or honor our fallen brothers and sisters?


Week of Remembrance
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jun 2023

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