September 9th, 2012, the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Memorial will be officially opened to the public in Ottawa.
This is an artists concept rendering.
It is every fire chief's nightmare to hear the words "May-Day, May-Day", coming in over the radio, reporting that a firefighter is in serious trouble. It's even worse when a firefighter loses his or her life in the course of duty, but these are the risks that firefighters across Canada knowingly engage in every day.
There are hundreds of small memorials placed around the country to remember those who gave their all in the line of duty, but on September 9th, 2012, the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Memorial will be officially opened to the public in Ottawa. It will be the first national memorial for firefighters, and the memorial wall will list the names of all the fallen firefighters across Canada.
Construction began in May of 2011, with the memorial situated at LeBreton Flats, close to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. An artist's concept of the completed memorial can be seen at www.cfff.ca, with the award winning design consisting of a granite Memorial wall, sloping grove, dedication pine tree, and a 15 foot high bronze firefighter beside a 20 meter high fire pole. The bronze statue is where the memorial touches very close to home for Leduc County firefighters.
The artists at Harman Foundry near Red Deer, were the ones chosen to do the statue. A renown foundry throughout Canada, Harman Foundry has also created the Terry Fox Memorials in Ottawa and Vancouver, as well as the bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth on horseback that stands on Parliament Hill.
So in 2011, an appeal went out from the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs to fire halls across Canada, asking them to donate brass items in order to create this statue. Chief Galloway, and all the firefighters at the Leduc County Fire Station #1 in Nisku, responded by sending old and surplus brass hose couplings and pump parts, which were melted down and became part of the fifteen foot high firefighter statue.
Chief Galloway said that it meant a lot to everyone at the station to be a part of this memorial. There is a local memorial for firefighters in Edmonton on Whyte Avenue, but he stated that it is a "big deal" to finally have a national memorial. "It gives firefighters a place to go and honour the fallen," said Chief Galloway.
Chief Galloway will be attending the opening ceremonies in Ottawa, as he will already be in the city to be awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his many years of service just a couple of days prior.
When asked if there were any local names that will be engraved into the memorial, Chief Galloway said that he was glad to be able to say that he was unaware of any. Sadly, he was sure that there will be names from Alberta on the memorial, but happily, none that he was aware of from Leduc County Fire Station #1.