Monument Dedicated to Past Firefighters
Nov 06, 2014 12:27PM
● By Peri Kinder
This monument, located at Murray City Fire Department Station #81 (40 East 4800 South), was carved by Battalion Chief Jon Harris, and dedicated to past employees and volunteers.
When the Murray Fire Department was organized in the early 1900s, there were no fire hydrants, no motorized fire engines, not even any full-time employees. Over the last century, countless men and women served with the department, many in volunteer positions.
Murray Battalion Chief Jon Harris has created a memorial to honor these dedicated firefighters in a lasting monument to their sacrifices. Harris completed a chain-saw carved, 7-foot tall firefighter last fall, and on Oct. 29, a well-attended ceremony (close to 100 people showed up) at MCFD Station #81 paid homage to members of the department who had at least 10 years of service.
“I am overwhelmed,” Harris said. “This turnout is a tribute to the fire department and the sense of family that made everyone show up today.”
Ray Limberg, 89, started his career with the Murray department when he was 10 years old, working as the station’s mascot. He joined the department in 1946 as a volunteer and said, “Some of my best memories of these 90 years were from being a part of the fire department.”
Surrounding the carved firefighter are paving stones engraved with the names of past firefighters. Harris hopes this memorial becomes a place where families can stop by to remember loved ones who served in the department.
Currently, 100 pavers have been inscribed with names, but there are many more so the monument can be a benefit for years to come.
“There’s a lot of history and tradition here,” Fire Chief Gil Rodriguez said. “We’ve got a lot of good people, a lot of history and a lot of memories.”
Mayor Ted Eyre commended Harris for his devotion to the memorial project, along with the countless hours it took to track down families and find information about former fire employees.
“I’ve never seen a brotherhood and a fraternity of men and women like I do in this fire department,” Eyre said. “You have memorialized these people. The passion you have for your job is evident in everything you do.”