Firefighters memorial unveiled Sunday
By John Estridge, Editor
Phoebe Phillips left her last quilt to the Brookville Volunteer Fire Department after she passed.
For the past several monthly breakfasts at the fire department, the firefighters raffled the quilt off.
Firefighters then discussed how to use those funds and other funds from memorials garnered from people’s funerals.
A memorial was discussed. Using a scrap piece of paper, BVFD Chief Aaron Leffingwell and others sketched their ideas for a firefighter memorial.
They presented their sketch to the Biltz family, owners of Biltz Monuments.
According to Leffingwell, the Biltz family embraced the situation, saying they were very happy the firefighters chose them to make the memorial.
The memorial to the fallen BVFD firefighters carries the names of Ricci L. Meyer and Robert L. King Jr., who died Sept. 25, 1976, when the apparatus they were in overturned on its way from a fire. Above their names is the Firefighters Prayer.
That main monument is flanked by smaller monuments carrying the names of those who have retired from the department.
Also, in the area east of the main doors to the department is a flag pole.
Sunday afternoon, Aug. 6, the fire department held a ceremony to unveil the monuments and honor those who have fallen and those who have retired from the department.
After the National Anthem, Father Sean Danda, pastor at St. Michael and Holy Guardian Angels churches, gave a prayer.
Then Leffingwell explained the process leading up to the monuments. He thanked all those who had a hand in the process. That included the Biltz family, Whitetail Acres for giving a discount on the landscaping and State Rep. Jud McMillin for presenting the department with flags that have flown above the statehouse.
Family members of those firefighters who have retired were asked to the speaker’s stand. They read the name of their family member who had retired. If that family member had passed, the person rang the bell in their memory.
Ron Cooper and Mike Wilson unveiled the retired firefighters monuments.
Then family members of the deceased firefighters went out to unveil the main monument.
After the playing of bagpipes, the ceremony ended. People gathered for photos of the monuments.
A lunch, hosted by the firefighters, was served in the firehouse after the ceremony.
Leffingwell said the memorial is a public memorial for all the town’s residents and visitors to see. The firefighters have another memorial inside the firehouse, but the public does not have ready access to it.
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