New dates, location announced for National EMS Weekend of Honor
The Weekend of Honor, which was previously canceled due to COVID-19, will now be held July 23-25 in Arlington, Va.
By Laura French
WASHINGTON — The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride (NEMSMBR), National EMS Memorial Foundation (NEMSMF) and National EMS Memorial Service (NEMSMS) have announced the new dates and location of the 2021 National EMS Memorial Service and Weekend of Honor, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Weekend of Honor, originally scheduled for last May, will now be held July 23-25, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, organizers announced this week.
"The goal for the reschedule was to balance our commitment to provide a safe and healing environment for all attendees while providing special recognition for the many participants who remain on the front-line of the COVID-19 response," organizers wrote.
This year's ceremonies will pay tribute to the 2019 and 2020 honorees due to the cancellation of the 2020 events. Organizers asked that attendees book their hotel rooms under the National EMS Memorial Service Weekend of Honor group booking page in order to ensure the organizations and hotel can meet CDC guidelines for safe in-person gatherings.
The year's National EMS Memorial Service will pay tribute to more than 100 EMS providers who have died in the line of duty, making it the largest memorial service even held during the Weekend of Honor.
"I reaffirm there has never been a more defining time to honor the service and sacrifice of those in EMS as there remains right now. Despite persistent challenges, we remain committed that the fallen will not be forgotten," NEMSMS President Jana Williams said in a statement.
The NEMSMBR, which had to cancel several routes last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, is also preparing to return to its role in the memorial service and weekend.
"For the past 20 years the National EMS Memorial Service and Weekend of Honor begin with the arrival of our cyclist and support personnel meeting the honoree families. With that tradition in mind, and in addition to the five nationwide like rides we have planned for September of this year, we are actively preparing a one-day ride into this year's Weekend of Honor benefitting our honorees," NEMSMBR President Brian Shaw said in a statement. "We will continue to shine a light on the sacrifices those in EMS make."
NEMSMF Executive Director Katie Orsino also released a statement, saying, "We support our partners at the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride and the National EMS Memorial Service as they prepare modified events this year to honor our EMS colleagues. What our first responders have demonstrated especially over the last year has been extraordinary. It reinforces our resolve to bring a permanent EMS memorial to the nation's capital to honor their commitment, service, and sacrifice. We will not waiver in our efforts to ensure it becomes reality."