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About the Memorial
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History: A Place of Honor and Memory

Each September, as summer takes its leave and turns Colorado aspens golden, we gather here to remember. We come together as one union. One brotherhood. One family. We come to honor extraordinary human beings. We come to this special place, not only to remember, but to ensure a hectic, preoccupied world never forgets.

Here in Colorado Springs, our memorial pays perpetual tribute to our bravest. Whether our fallen brother or sister hailed from N.Y. or L.A.; Keokuk, Iowa or Newmarket, Ontario; Whether they sacrificed their lives in a city whose inhabitants number in the millions, or a tiny town miles from interstates and international airports; Each name etched here is a tale of courage and selflessness; a powerful tribute to what is best in humanity.

In 1918 the IAFF organized to improve working conditions for fire fighters. More than 60 years later, members of Colorado Springs Local 5 looked out over this vacant field and visualized a memorial honoring those who fall in the line of duty. That dream became reality in 1984, when city fathers granted a lease in Memorial Park for the purpose of erecting a permanent tribute to fire fighters. Their asking price: The modest sum of one dollar per year.

Somewhere, Everyday

The centerpiece of Memorial Park arrived in 1987. Nationally renowned sculptor Gary Coulter fashioned a bronze likeness of a fire fighter descending a ladder while cradling an infant in one arm. Towering 20 feet above the park’s surface, “Somewhere, Everyday” epitomizes the courage and bravery displayed daily by professional fire fighters across our continent.

In 1989, memorial volunteers erected the first of two granite walls to bear the names of fallen IAFF members. The names of brothers and sisters who fall in the line of duty have been etched here since. Although thousands have died throughout our union’s history, names etched on this wall date back only through 1976, when the United States federal government first began tracking line-of-duty deaths in the fire service.

Lamentations

1996 found Coulter adding another unforgettable image to Memorial Park. His second creation, “Lamentations”, depicts a fire fighter grieving the loss of his comrades. Additional upgrades over the final years of the 20th century steadily transformed this tribute to our fallen family members into a memorial of international stature. Paving stone, monument lighting, flag standards and walkways now beautify this hallowed place, creating an atmosphere of dignity and reverence for all who visit here

As the original wall has filled to near capacity with names of fallen heroes, a second wall has become necessary. In 2002, this second granite wall was erected just a few steps from the original wall of honor. In a ceremony fraught with irony, this new memorial wall was dedicated a scant four days after terrorist attacks claimed 347 of our New York City brothers.

- Written by Aaron Espy

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