Page 10 - PFFW December 2018
P. 10

  Mike Woodzicka
 Tranquil Central Wisconsin Park
the Perfect Place to
Memorialize Our Fallen
  The State of Wisconsin has a great treasure tucked away in central Wisconsin, the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial. The non-profit memorial and park is dedicated to firefighters from Wisconsin who have died in the line of duty. It is located
in Ben Hansen Park near Wisconsin Rapids. The site is along the Wisconsin River and is a tranquil spot to reflect on the sacrifice made by so many Wisconsin firefighters.
The centerpiece of the park is a statue of three life-sized firefighters engaged
in a rescue situation. One firefighter
is dragging a disabled firefighter with another nearby ready to help. There are benches for reflection and the American flag flies over the park. A tower with a firefighter’s bell commemorates the bell that firefighters historically used to signal an alarm and a fire call. If you have not yet been to the memorial, I recommend a visit.
Fire Fighting is a special calling and
10 December 2018 -
requires much discipline and sacrifice. Being committed to creating safer communities through prevention, preparedness and effective emergency response is a goal of every Wisconsin firefighter. We also value and take pride in taking care of our own. When one
of us dies in the line of duty, we make sure that member is given the tribute deserving of a hero. A proper send off for a life of service and sacrifice. For several decades, the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin has held an opening ceremony at our convention honoring those firefighters from our ranks who
have passed away during the year. This includes line of duty, active member and retiree deaths. This service included participation from the PFFW Honor Guard and a bell ceremony.
In 2018, a change was made to this practice and the decision was made to have an annual ceremony to be held at the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial. This ceremony will be held in October and honor those PFFW members who we have lost that year. Family members will also be invited
to attend the ceremony to remember and honor their loved one. The PFFW intends to make this annual ceremony an uplifting service for the families, friends and loved ones, celebrating the lives, heroism and accomplishments of our union’s bravest of the brave. I encourage all of the PFFW members to consider participating in this annual ceremony. It means so much to the family members of those being memorialized. Stay safe out there. f

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