Completed Memorial Honors Fallen Minnesota Firefighters
Since 1881, 207 Minnesota firefighters have died in the line of duty. Now, there is a permanent memorial on the State Capitol Grounds to honor the sacrifices they made.
The new memorial was dedicated in a ceremony Sunday afternoon. At the center is a statue of a firefighter rescuing a child that once stood at MSP International Airport. The names of fallen firefighters are engraved in columns surrounding the sculpture.
Hundreds of family members were honored during the dedication. The names of all those killed in the line of duty were read aloud, and family members were given Minnesota State Flags. Before and after the ceremony, families etched the names of their loved ones in pencil.
"It's a closing. People just don't understand, he gave his life just for the community," said Bonnie Rothi, whose father died in the line of duty.
"When they end up losing their life and families are torn apart because of it, it's just quite an honor that they can be remembered this way," said LeAnn Chlian, whose husband was killed in the line of duty.
The fire service raised $600,000 for the memorial, primarily through the firefighter community. The Minnesota Fire Service Foundation is still hoping to raise an addition $50,000.
The Foundation is still hoping to get in touch with family members of more than half of the 207 fallen firefighters. If you would like to donate to the foundation or know a fallen firefighter, click here.