$4 million goal established to build Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park
June 6, 2005
Contact: Link McKie
(617) 373-8773 (fax)
WORCESTER, Mass. – A fund-raising goal of $4 million was announced Monday, June 6, to build a memorial park in Worcester to honor the six firefighters killed in a warehouse fire here Dec. 3, 1999.
The major costs included in the $4-million goal to create Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park were outlined by Michael J. Donoghue, chairman of the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee, as:
- $1.5 million for the monument to the six fallen firefighters.
- $750,000 to repair environmental damage the seven-acre memorial park site has sustained through the years.
- $750,000 to restore the site to the parkland it used to be, when it was part of scenic Institute Park next to Worcester Fire Department headquarters off Grove Street.
- $500,000 to build a bridge over Salisbury Pond to connect Institute Park and Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park.
The $4-million goal was announced at the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Campaign Kickoff at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The kickoff marked the culmination of four years of planning by the Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee and the beginning of its formal fund-raising campaign for the memorial park.
The campaign will raise money to establish Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park at a site near Worcester Fire Department headquarters on Salisbury Pond across from Institute Park. The park will commemorate the six Worcester firefighters who died fighting a fire Dec. 3, 1999, at Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co.
Donoghue noted that the spirit of the six firefighters “is with us today.” “(T)heir spirit is here in every one of us, in our hearts and in our minds, as we remember what fine men these six fallen heroes were, and remember how much they gave to all of us and to our community,” Donoghue said. “And now we are gathered here to give back, to show our spirit to those whose spirit has so moved us.
“Our hope is that, whether it be two years from now or 200 years from now, people can stand outside where we our gathered here today and look across Institute Park to a memorial park that fittingly honors the spirit of those six valiant men,” Donoghue said.
“Our memorial committee decided near the beginning of our work four years ago that our motto in fulfilling our mission would be that it is ‘A Time to Honor Our Own.’ That time begins today ... ”
Dr. Dennis D. Berkey, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, was the keynote speaker at the campaign kickoff. Other speakers included Worcester Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio; Denise Brotherton, whose husband, Paul, was among the six firefighters who died in the fire; Worcester Mayor Timothy P. Murray; Worcester City Manager Michael V. O'Brien; David Forsberg, president of Worcester Business Development Corporation. Frank Raffa, president of Local 1009, International Association of Fire Fighters, opened the ceremonies and began the introduction of other speakers.
A video depicting the history behind creation of the memorial park and the plans for its establishment was shown for the first time publicly at the event. A scale model of the winning design for Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park was on display at the community forum. The design features a monument with six encircled columns leaning toward each other and shooting shafts of light into a common point in the night as the centerpiece of the memorial park. The design by Gala Simon Associates Inc. of Watertown, Mass., was chosen by a blue-ribbon jury from among five finalists in a national competition for the right to design the memorial park.
Students from the Grafton Street School and Forest-Grove Middle School read poetry and essays commemorating the six fallen heroes. The Doherty Madrigal Singers performed the national anthem.
Members of Worcester’s business, civic, cultural, education, and political communities attended the campaign kickoff, as did members of the six fallen firefighters’ families, Worcester firefighters, and fellow firefighters from throughout Massachusetts.
The Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Committee began working in late 2001 to establish a memorial to honor Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Timothy P. Jackson, Jeremiah M. Lucey, James F. “Jay” Lyons III, Joseph T. McGuirk and Lt. Thomas E. Spencer. They died Dec. 3, 1999, trying to save the lives of others in an abandoned warehouse off Route 290 near downtown Worcester. Their deaths were the worst loss of firefighters’ lives in more than 20 years in a building fire in America, and the third worst fire in Massachusetts’ history.
Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial Park will be financed through a public fund- raising campaign.
Donations to the memorial can be made to Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial on its Web site, http://www.fallen-heroes.org, or by mail to Worcester Fire Fighters Memorial, 34 Glennie Street, Worcester, Mass. 01605.
More information about the campaign and the memorial park can be obtained at the Web site, http://www.fallen-heroes.org.Questions/Feedback:
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