Transgender woman Nikki Araguz Loyd marriage to Captain Thomas Araguz who died in 2010 while in the line of duty will receive a degree of validation Sunday when she receives a flag in his honor as his widow.
For Nikki attending The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s memorial weekend has special importance as she is still battling in Texas courts just to be recognized legally as his widow.
Watch the ceremonies live beginning 6pm Sunday on the embedded player at the bottom of this post.
On Sunday, October 4, the President will travel to Emmitsburg, Maryland to deliver remarks at the 34th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. Obama will honor 84 heroic firefighters who have died in the line of duty in 2014 and three firefighters who died in previous years.
Nikki’s marriage hasn’t been recognized in Texas courts but that too will change soon according to Nikki who wrote “September 18th 2013, the 13th District Court of Appeals heard our argument following the 2010 voiding of my marriage by Wharton County Judge Randy Clapp and they ruled in favor of me, remanding the case back to Wharton, requiring Judge Clapp to reverse his ruling and reinstate my marriage to my late husband.”
Araguz Loyd wrote, “I am honored and thrilled to finally end this long fought battle for transgender equality in Texas and America, I am the first transgender woman to be recognized by the NFFF, sadly, I probably won’t be the last, but this foundation and organization has always supported me, and our marriage. I couldn’t be more thankful and humbled by the honor of the President who has historically done so much for the advancement and protections of transgender people and our country is a better place for me because of him. The entire experience and events that have followed, once again remind me of grace and the opportunity that even in the greatest tragedy in your life, beauty and love can grow.”
Candlelight Service Broadcast
Saturday, October 3, 2015 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. EDT
(Streaming Begins at 6:00 p.m.; Service Begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)
Memorial Service Broadcast
Sunday, October 4, 2015 9:30 am – 12:00 p.m. EDT
(Streaming Begins at 9:30 a.m.; Service Begins at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time)