The 2019 National EMS Weekend of Honor is nearly upon us – scheduled to run from 17-19 May at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, the event will see The National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS), the National EMS Memorial Foundation and the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR) pay tribute to fallen EMS and air medical providers from the US. There are many activities during the three-day event, including two events that the public and media are welcome to attend:
On Friday 17 May, the NEMSMBR will take place, with nearly 200 EMS Memorial Bike Riders and support personnel cycling along the East Coast and Southern Routes and meeting in Annapolis before riding into the National Harbor together. Upon arriving at the Plaza National Harbor (around 16:00 hrs), the Presentation of Dog Tags to the families will occur – each rider wears a dog tag bearing an honouree’s name, agency and date of their loss – one of these will be presented to the family of the honouree, the other will be kept by the rider as a lifetime reminder of the honouree’s sacrifice.
Brian Shaw, President of the NEMSMBR, explained that participants are grateful to honour the lives of those lost. “While we cannot fully realise the true hurt felt by the families who have lost their loved ones, our goal is to ensure the contributions of these EMS heroes are recognised and not forgotten,” he added.
On Saturday 18 May, the NEMSMS will take place. The formal ceremony honours fallen EMS professionals who have died in the line of duty, and participants in the NEMSMS will be in dress uniform, flight suits or similar appropriate attire, while Honor Guards, along with bagpipe and drum corps will volunteer their time and services throughout the weekend.
Each of the thirty-six honouree’s families will be presented with an American flag, in addition to the NEMSMS medallion. A National Moment of Silence will take place (at 18:00 hrs) during the service, as will a Tribute Video and a Candlelight Ceremony. The National EMS Memorial ‘Tree of Life’ will be on display, featuring bronze oak leaves engraved with the names of fallen honourees for each year since 1993, and the entire memorial service is available on a live stream – the link for which will be posted in the coming days on the NEMSMS website.
“This year, the National EMS Weekend of Honor coincides with the beginning of National EMS Week, which is May 19-25,” said Jana Williams, president of the National EMS Memorial Service. “As National EMS Week celebrates the men and women who provide emergency medical services on the front lines of healthcare throughout our country, it is our honour and duty to also remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while doing so.”
The 2019 National EMS Weekend of Honor will take place at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center located at 201 Waterfront St, Oxon Hill, MD 201745. To register for the event, visit the website.