Firefighter memorial improvement planned

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The Delaware Firefighter’s Memorial is located on Park Drive in Dover between East Loockerman and Division streets next to Mirror Lake. (Delaware State News/Craig Anderson)

DOVER — There’s hope that a new Delaware Firefighter’s Monument site will be erected by September’s statewide convention in Dover.

The memorial tribute to firefighters who died on duty while serving their community is slated for a more visible location — Legislative Mall across from the Delaware police memorial. About $40,000 of the $150,000 to $200,000 needed for the project has been raised, monument committee member Jim Watson said this week.

The money is raised through the fire companies and private resources; no public money is involved.

“We just want to recognize the volunteers who gave their time and efforts, and pay tribute to their sacrifice for the community,” Mr. Watson said.

John Porter of the Wilmington Fire Department chairs the permanent memorial committee, joined by Mr. Watson, Rich Weaver, Dennis Hitchens, Joseph Zeroles, Ken Clendaniel, James Woznicki, Glenn Gillespie, the Revs. Blake Bowers, Charlie Arnond and Bob Hudson, Mike Mitchell, Norman Jones and Terry Witham.

According to organizers, plans are in place for a 4-foot brick wall around the memorial, with pavers.

“We just hope we never, ever have to add another name to it,” Mr. Watson said.

The new monument will be an improvement from the one on Park Drive between East Loockerman and Division streets next to Mirror Lake, Mr. Watson said, since some names etched on the current granite wall are misspelled or misidentified.

The project has been ongoing for some time now, and organizers worked with state legislators to receive proper permitting for the Legislative Mall plot when construction is ready.

Donations to the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association are tax deductible. For more information, call (302) 734-9390 or (877) 455-3832, or visit www.dvfassn.com.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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