A memorial site at Madison Fire Department Station 14 was unveiled Sept. 11 to commemorate firefighters killed in the line of duty. The memorial features a statue of a firefighter kneeling on a pedestal, which reads: “Honoring our members who gave their lives answering the final call.”
Fire Fighters Local 311, a Madison nonprofit, held an opening ceremony for the memorial structure at Madison Fire Station 14 on Sunday, according to their Facebook page.
This plan was kickstarted by the line-of-duty death of firefighter Rick Garner in 2018, as well as by deaths of other Madison firefighters in the line of duty, Fire Fighters Local 311 spokesperson Peter Friedericks said.
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“Over the two and a half years, we’ve finally been able to put together a committee and then finally get everything in order to get built,” Friedericks said.
The date was chosen to honor Madison firefighters who have passed away while serving, as well as the firefighters who died during the 9/11 attacks, Freidericks said.
According to the Never Forget Project, 343 New York firefighters were killed Sept. 11, 2001.
“This has been a years-long [plan], it actually goes back further than I’ve been on the job,” Friedericks said. “We’ve had six line-of-duty deaths in the Madison Fire Department, and just having a place where we could honor those men appropriately was something that we’ve wanted to do for a long long time.”
This wasn’t Madison Fire Department’s only tribute to remembering the Sept. 11 attacks this year, according to an article from NBC15. They also teamed up with the Red Cross and the Madison Police Department to hold their annual ‘Never Forget Blood Drive’ during the second week in September. The blood drive, which has been held every year since 2012, collected 136 donations this year.
Despite the rain, the service was pleasant, Friedericks said. He stated that many local officials were there, including Gov. Tony Evers, Sheriff Kalvin Barrett and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.
“We had some retirees and active duty members there as well,” Friedericks said. “It all turned out really nice.”
From now on, Friedericks said Fire Fighters Local 311 will continue to honor fallen firefighters with a ceremony at the memorial structure every year on Sept. 11.