Sunday, August 31, 2003

Township comes up short for monument

Construction postponed on tribute to firefighters

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TWP. - Fund-raising efforts for a planned firefighters' memorial in this eastern Hamilton County community have been slow going, forcing organizers to postpone construction plans until they can raise the money to continue with the project.

Organizers had hoped to have the monument built and ready for visitors by spring 2004.

But so far, only $50,000 of the $200,000 needed to construct the elaborate tribute of bronze and stone has been raised, according to Mark Owens, chair of the Anderson Township Memorial Committee. That group has been heading the project for two years.

He attributed the difficulties to the economic downturn.

As a result, it is unknown when the tribute will be erected.

Owens, who serves as a firefighter and paramedic with the township's fire department, said the committee in a month will begin selling commemorative bricks that individuals or groups can purchase as part of fund-raising efforts.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, communities across the country have erected memorials honoring police officers and firefighters.

Locally, such tributes have been built in Loveland, Delhi Township, Lawrenceburg, and in Northern Kentucky.

The Anderson Township tribute is expected to include benches, landscaping, flags, lighting and a 7-foot bronze statue of a firefighter carrying an infant.

The statue will be depicted in Anderson Township gear.

An eternal flame will also be part of the site, which officials hope to build in Beech Acres Park.

Portraits of those who died in the line of duty or while working for the department will be carved onto separate granite slabs.

In addition, names of all people who have served as firefighters and emergency workers with the department since it was established in 1941 will be inscribed on marble monument columns near the tribute.

For information, call 474-3151. Donations can be sent to the Anderson Township Fireman's Association Memorial Project, 6211 Salem Road, Cincinnati, OH 45230.


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