During the 37th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, Oct. 7, the U.S. Fire Service paid tribute to the lives of 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2017 and 23 firefighters who died in previous years.

Eagle Rock Volunteer Fire & Rescue member Roger D. Johns’ name has been added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. and he was among those recognized in the weekend ceremonies.

Each year the U.S. Fire Servicer recognizes firefighters who die in the line of duty. The 37th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service was held Sunday, Oct. 7.

Johns is among the 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2017. The 63-year-old died on May 19, 2017 after being struck and killed by apparatus as it was being backed up where he was serving as a spotter at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on US 220  south of Eagle Rock.

He is the second Botetourt County firefighter whose name is on the national memorial.

Danny Wayne Morris of Buchanan died in the line of duty in 1987 when his vehicle was struck by a train while responding to a call with the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department.

The national tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Fire Administration.

More than 5,000 people, including families, friends, members of Congress, U.S. Administration officials and firefighters attended Sunday; including Johns’ family and representatives and volunteers from Botetourt Fire & EMS.

Firefighter Honor Guards and Pipe & Drum units from across the country participated in this national remembrance, including Botetourt Firefighter and Honor Guard member Mary McPeak. Botetourt native Chad Epperly represented Roanoke County Fire & EMS at the ceremony. Epperly is a career firefighter with Roanoke County.

A complete list of fallen firefighters honored and Memorial Weekend-related videos, photos and other information is available at www.firehero.org.

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