OGDEN -- An 8-foot-tall bronze statue will be installed within the next month in a plaza east of the Ogden Amphitheater, launching the construction of a memorial honoring fallen firefighters from across the country.
The statue depicts a firefighter on bended knee, with another firefighter standing next to him who is looking down at the helmet of a fallen comrade. It is being made by Dee Jay Bawden, of Provo.
Efforts to develop the memorial are being spearheaded by Ogden Fire Capt. Rich King and Mike Leatham, owner of SymbolArts, an Ogden company that produces custom-designed law enforcement badges, challenge coins, lapel pins and other jewelry.
The memorial, which will include 51 black granite panels next to an outer walkway, should be installed in time for a Sept. 10 ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City that killed scores of firefighters and police. It will be the largest of its kind in the western United States.
The memorial will cost about $500,000 to construct. Brick pavers that will be inscribed with the names of donors are being sold for $100 each to help fund the project, said King. Information was not available regarding how much money has been raised for the project.
The panels will initially be inscribed with the names of about 3,000 firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1981, gleaned from the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Md. The Ogden memorial is not designed to take the place of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial but is designed to complement it, said King.
The memorial would honor professional, part-time, volunteer, wildland, military and industrial firefighters who have died in the line of duty from around the country. Names will be submitted by family members and state fire marshals, said King.
"Anybody who is a firefighter who died in the line of duty, their name will go up on the wall," he said, adding it is hoped that names from the beginnings of firefighting in the U.S. in the 1700s to present will be added to the wall.
Initially, the granite panels would be able to hold about 9,100 names. As more names are received they will be added to the other side of the panel in time for an annual service that will be held at the memorial.
Individuals who would like to purchase brick pavers or make contributions to the project should contact Leatham at firstname.lastname@example.org.