Photos by Robbie Panco


This past September, the 16th Annual California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony honored 37 California firefighters who have died in the line of duty, whose names were added to nearly 1,400 fellow fallen firefighters inscribed on the brushed limestone wall of the California Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento’s Capitol Park.

The midday ceremony included a procession of uniformed firefighters through Capitol Park and presentation of flags to family members of the 37 honorees, including Ernesto Torres, surviving partner of slain Long Beach Fire Captain David Rosa, who presented the folded United States flag to Captain Rosa’s wife, Lynley Rosa. Long Beach Battalion Chief Jeff Hardin also spoke in remembrance of Captain Rosa, who was gunned down this past June while responding to an explosion and fire.

The Memorial Ceremony comes at a time when the cost of the job has been especially steep. Among those being added to the Memorial is CAL FIRE firefighter, Cory Iverson, who lost his life last December battling the Thomas Fire in Southern California. This past summer, four more firefighters lost their lives battling California’s ferocious wildfires. They will be honored at next year’s memorial ceremony.

Unveiled in April of 2002, the California Firefighters Memorial features two stunning statues and a dramatic Memorial Wall on which the names of nearly 1,400 fallen firefighters are now engraved. The annual ceremony is conducted by the California Fire Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization created by California Professional Firefighters in 1987.