There’s agreement, too, on firefighter memorials

There’s agreement, too, on firefighter memorials

Two U.S. representatives have worked out language concerning two memorials to fallen firefighters—one already built at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., and another being planned for Colorado Springs, Co.

For the second year in a row, Rep. Beverly Byron of Maryland had submitted a bill designating the bronze maltese cross at Emmitsburg as the national memorial to fallen firefighters. Then this year, at the request of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Rep. Joel Hefley of Colorado made a similar proposal for the bronze statue being erected in his state.

The modified language will give the existing site national memorial status, while giving the planned one commemorative status.

A spokeswoman for the House Libraries and Memorials Subcommittee says several factors went into the compromise. One is that the Joint Council of Volunteer Fire Service Organizations backed the Emmitsburg memorial. Another is that thousands of firefighters travel through that area each year, because it’s just across the border from Gettysburg, Pa.

But most important, she says, is the fact that the IAFF-sponsored memorial is aimed solely at career firefighters, but the NFA one also honors volunteers, who make up 60 percent of the U.S. fire service.

The spokeswoman expects passage of the bills to be routine.

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