Firefighters from across Canada gathered in Ottawa for a day of remembrance on September 11.

The ceremonies that took place that day honoured those who had made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of service to their fellows and communities.

Swift Current Fire Department's Lieutenant Regan Darby attended the memorial, along with Captain Trevor Brown, and Captain Ken Silbernagel. Accompanying them was the family of deceased Fire Chief, Darren McClelland.

"We had an emotional day," recalled Darby. "It was great to go there and see our friend and coworker honoured for what he did. It's hard to talk about it."

Darby and his companions from the station all worked with McClelland, who passed away tragically in 2019 after a bout with cancer.

"We got the opportunity to finally see him go up on the wall and be honoured for what he did as a firefighter and as Chief," said Darby.

His condition stemmed from his career in firefighting. It's reported that 86 percent of all firefighter workplace fatality claims are attributed to cancer. Current numbers project firefighters developing cancers at three times the average of regular Canadian citizens.

The memorial saw close to 500 firefighters in attendance, from fire halls all across Canada. For those marching in the ceremony, they were briefed in advance on the procedures for the march, and then together they headed into the service.

"We marched into the service and there were drums and pipes," said Darby. "The ceremony was friends and families of the fallen firefighters, they were all in the front. Second, some were honouring up some of the fallen guys."

Fallen firefighters were honoured with not only words and speeches, but their names were cast onto plaques, which were mounted on the memorial site. These men and women who gave their lives aren't remembered fondly just by their families, friends and co-workers, but also by the people they saved and the communities they served. Ceremonies like this, especially on the national scale, help to reinforce that their sacrifice and commitment to their roles are treasured by people from every part of life.

"I think it's important to remember the guys serving their community and the people in it," said Darby. "They've made a huge sacrifice for them and for me, it's just important to remember guys like Darren and the stuff that they did. To honour him by remembering him. I think that's the most important thing."