16 Mar 2013 Groundbreaking set for fallen firefighters memorial
After 25 years of fundraising and hard work, ground will be broken at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23, for the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial that will be located on the west side of the Arkansas State Capitol Grounds in Little Rock.
This site will be a place of reflection, honor and education for this and future generations.
The names of dozens of men and women who have died in the line of duty will be etched in the granite that surrounds the "Win Rockefeller Fountain of Faith" with a bronze statue representing the branches of the fire-service in Arkansas.
Additional names will be added as needed.
“We must step up to tell the families that their family members did not die and then were forgotten. They paid a price for their dedication and sacrifice. The children need to know of the firefighter’s duty in the face of danger,” said chairman Johnny Reep of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Committee.
- The statues are 11 feet, 6 inches high. “Old Leather Lungs” represents the origins of firefighters. “The Angel of Mercy” represents paramedic firefighters. “On the Line,” the wild land and the forestry firefighter. “Push’In” represents all current firefighters. The center statue and fountain are known as the Win Rockefeller Fountain of Faith, named for the late lieutenant governor, who served as finance chair until his death. The Arkansas Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial is also a fire safety education venue, with a 110-seat amphitheater.
- The honorary chairs are: James Lee Witt, publicity chair, Rush Harding, Shirley Davis Miller and Jim Lindsey. Jackson Brown Palculict is the architect. East Harding is the general contractor and Paula Haskins of Walnut Ridge is the artist who designed the statue. Robert Daus of Liberty Art Works, of St. Louis is the sculptor.
- The Arkansas Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial 24/7 Fire Safety Program, which started in 2012, is funded with a grant from The Motorola Solutions Foundation. Through the grant, The Arkansas Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial 24/7 Fire Safety Program has purchased radio air time on multiple stations. Each station has aired public service announcements on fire safety reaching over 150,000 listeners weekly.
- The public is invited to attend the dedication which is tentatively scheduled for October.