By HOWARD BALABAN email@example.com
Medina Journal-Register — A new memorial honoring Medina firefighters was unveiled Saturday morning in front of City Hall.
With an unofficial crowd of about 100 people on hand, an honor guard pulled the cover off the tablet recognizing the fallen. Depicted on the stone is a firefighter leaning on his axe, a logo with the words service, honor, valor, and dedication, and “A Firefighter’s Prayer.” The memorial reads that it is “For those who answered the last alarm.”
The memorial came about thanks to the Medina Fire Department Benevolent Association. Firefighter and paramedic John Higgins said he started a committee in January to start looking into creating a memorial for the department.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a few years,” Higgins said. “It’s a way to honor our past firefighters, and our present firefighters in the future.”
Along with the stone memorial, firefighters last week put down a brick path with names of the fallen. The names of the only two firefighters from the Medina Fire Department to die in the line of duty appear on the stone. Higgins noted the department appreciated the donated time of Jim Babcok of Babcock Construction. The stone, he noted, was completed by Brigden Memorials.
Higgins said he was impressed with Saturday’s turnout, as “80 to 90 percent of the people we invited showed up.” The invitees included elected officials and the families of former firefighters.
The Benevolent Association was responsible for the entire cost of the project, Higgins said. Overall, he estimated its cost to be about $7,000. But it was definitely worth it, he added.
“It’s important for us to have this,” Higgins explained. “The fire department has long traditions, and this honors people who have served the community.”
Medina Fire Chief Todd Zinkievich said the memorial also means a lot to the firefighters in the department.
“The guys on the memorial are guys we still talk about today,” he said. “Not a day goes by where we don’t at least mention one of them.”
Zinkievich added, “It’s a fitting tribute to them to have it right out in front of our building.”