Ogden hosts the largest firefighter memorial west of the Mississippi River. Built in 2011, this monument memorializes firefighters who lost their lives due to their service.
Ogden was chosen to house the “America’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial” because of its location as a midpoint of the West. The memorial was created with the intent to complement the “National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial” in Emmitsburg, Maryland, which is respectively the largest of its kind.
Each year, 1.6 million individuals dedicate themselves to this dangerous occupation. Ogden firefighter, Blair Jensen, refers to his fellow firefighting colleagues as ordinary people doing an extraordinary job.
“Every day, thousands of these ordinary people leave their families," says Jensen. "They miss birthday parties, holiday celebrations and things that we take for granted to go help people in need. They know the days are going to be long and the nights even longer. Unfortunately, every four days, one of these ordinary people will never come home.”
According to the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy (UFRA) publication Straight Tip, the monument features a seven-and-a-half foot tall bronze statue framed by four black granite walls. These walls are inscribed with 6,500 names to date honoring career, part-time, volunteer, wildland, military and industrial firefighters from across the Western United States who have fallen in the line of duty.
There are four additional walls on the east side of the monument yet to be built. The project, at completion, has the capacity for over 12,000 names.
Because of the memorial's city park location, there is no admission or special clearance needed to visit it within Ogden’s Municipal Gardens at the corner of Historic 25th Street and Washington Boulevard.
“As an Ogden City firefighter myself,” Jensen says. “I feel privileged and humbled to have this memorial in the heart of our city. I invite everyone to come and pay respect to these ordinary people who gave their lives doing an extraordinary job serving others.”
Visit www.fallenfirefightermemorial.org for additional information on the memorial and further support efforts for its continued construction. The full story that sourced information for this article can be found in the Summer 2017 issue of Straight Tip.