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(KTAR Photo/Sharon Mittleman)
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Final stone laid in Arizona firefighters’ memorial

(KTAR Photo/Sharon Mittleman)

PHOENIX — The final stone was set Tuesday in a memorial dedicated to fallen Arizona firefighters.

The memorial in the Wesley Bolin Park is dedicated to the memory of the 119 firefighters and paramedics who have died in the line of duty since 1902.

“This is a memorial that fulfills our promise to remember,” Rick DeGraw, chairman of the Arizona Fallen Firefighter Commission, said. “It’s a place for their families to come, it’s a place for friends to honor them, it’s a place for the public to see what firefighters have done for us over the last more than a century.”

The memorial is a series of stones, set in a circle, engraved with the names of the fallen firefighting professionals. Degraw said there is meaning in the way the memorial is set up.

“The last stone is in the center of the bell tower, and it has the sentiment that ‘we will remember.’ That is our promise to them.”

Ten life-size bronze sculptures of firefighting professionals will be added to the memorial. Those sculptures will represent wildland firefighters, city firefighters, paramedics, volunteers and professional firefighters.  The sculptures will also depict the different ethnicities of firefighters, along with different genders.

The $1.7 million project is being paid for entirely with private funds. DeGraw said there is still more fundraising to be done.

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