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Fallen Firefighter Memorial on display at Batesville

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photo/Tammy Curtis The Fallen Firefighter Memorial displayed Oct. 23 outside the Batesville Fire Department.
From a distance the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial is almost like a beacon, its huge size and unparalleled beauty pales in comparison to the size of the hearts of the men and women who died doing what they love doing, saving lives and helping others.

The memorial is a project to honor Arkansas firemen who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The memorial was recently displayed at the Batesville Fire Station and is currently on a traveling display and can be viewed at many Arkansas fire departments before it's eventual permanent home on the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock.

The long list of fallen firemen in the state dates back as far as 1889, and also contains local firemen James Morgan of Poughkeepsie who died in 1994 and Don Payton and David Carpenter of Mammoth Spring and Thayer who lost their lives in 1997 while responding to an accident near Mammoth Spring.

The bronze statue began as a prototype to embody the spirits of all the men and women who died. Various fundraisers have been held to pay for the statue including a September event in Little Rock, Bootfest, as it was appropriately named. Other ways to support the memorial include purchasing Fallen Firefighter Memorial license plates and purchasing pavers that will be displayed around the memorial in Little Rock.

Below is a touching testament to a lost fireman from a family member and is displayed on the homepage of the Arkansas Firefighters Memorial Web site.

Gone in a Flame

I know I should never ask why

But I really have to know

Why you had to leave this Earth

I wish you didn't have to go

I remember when we spent time together

Just about every single day.

You used to always listen to me

Every word I had to say.

I really miss you right now

And even though I try,

I can never erase that night from my memory

And it always makes me cry.

I can only imagine how it felt

The bright, burning flames

And the firefighters, all the firefighters

Your name along with their names.

I know I'm not the only one hurting,

And that's what makes it so sad.

But I think of all the good things that happened while you were alive,

And I try to be glad.

I know you would want us to be happy,

Because I know you wouldn't want it to be like this.

You wanted so much for us.

That's the way it was, and I'm sure that's the way it still is.

But this is the problem,

I don't know where you are, and I can only think your name.

And I remember the one thing we have in common,

Your heart, My heart, both gone in a flame.

Submitted by Lori Warren,

Dedicated to Jodi Warren

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