Becoming a firefighter takes that rare combination of courage, strength, and dedication. First responders regularly make a habit of rushing into situations where the rest of us would turn the other way. They do it to protect lives and property sometimes at the risk of their own lives.

That is what the 43rd National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend commemorates. It's all about those firefighters who have lost their lives keeping others safe.

This weekend (Saturday, May 4 & Sunday, May 5) in Emmitsburg, Maryland this national tribute will honor 89 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2023 and 137 firefighters who died in previous years. The honorees will include the following South Dakota firefighters:

Firefighter Fred Fedeler
Courtesy National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Canva

Firefighter Fred Fedeler, age 67, of the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, suffered a heart attack at the scene of a structure fire on April 22, 2023. He was treated immediately and was transported to the hospital where he died due to a heart attack.

Firefighter Joshua J. Kogel
Courtesy of National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Canva

Firefighter Joshua "Josh" Kogel, age 48, of the Cavour Volunteer Fire Department, responded to a structure fire on September 4, 2023. While outside the burning building at the fire apparatus, he suffered a heart attack and became unresponsive. He was treated on scene and was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased due to a heart attack.

National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend is a time for our nation to pause and reflect on the heroic efforts and selfless service of the fallen firefighters being honored this weekend.

READ MORE: Is It Illegal to Sleep In a SD Rest Stop?

For more information, you can see the National Fallen Firefighters Honor Roll.

Twelve South Dakota Places to Put on Your "Must Visit" List!

Make the most of summer in South Dakota and visit these spots that speak to why SD is great!

A lot of them you might have visited, some you haven't for sure, and some are old favorites that maybe you haven't been to in a while. So, while there is still a little time or even one more weekend, and gas prices are down a bit - - try and make it to one of these great places.
What can be found in these 12 locations?

What can't? Camping, fishing swimming, kayaking, birdwatching, and tons of other great outdoors-type activities. Historical, educational exploration, hobby interests, kids activities, just plain old beautiful scenery, and- - to use an overused phrase- -lots more!

With all of that in mind, let's dive in!

Gallery Credit: Patty D

Iconic Sioux Falls: Rosie's Cafe

Gallery Credit: Karla Brown

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