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Honoring America's Fallen Firefighters

Honoring America's Fallen Firefighters

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Gene Kennedy ReportingAs the fire season is well underway in Utah, Ogden residents took a moment today to remember firefighters who have paid the ultimate price. They're doing it in a way that will last for generations.

Honoring America's Fallen Firefighters

Nationwide, 76 firefighters died on the job last year, including Spencer S. Koyle from the Utah Bureau of Land Management.

Uintah Fire Marshal Mike Leathem felt what better way to honor them than to build a memorial in Ogden. The memorial will be a massive granite wall with names of fallen firefighters. It should be finished sometime on 2008. For now, it's in the conceptual stages. Once complete, the wall would be similar to the Vietnam War Memorial. Organizers are still waiting for a location, but the hope is it would be here at the Ogden Amphitheater.

Honoring America's Fallen Firefighters

It will include the names of every firefighter killed on the job and each year names will be added. Memorial supporter Keith Meikle said, "It's a heck of an honor and they deserve it."

At today's dedication, there was someone who knows the pain of losing a firefighter. A few years ago Michelle Bryant, from Layton, lost her husband Kendall. He was fighting a house fire. Michelle said, "He was apparently in the house for too long, overcome by the smoke."

As she heard each name, she felt grateful for the brotherhood, and that firefighters remember their own. She said, "You can't thank them enough. They've been there for me always. Anytime I ever needed anything."

And now families of fallen firefighters will have a special place. Organizers are still raising money to build the monument, but are confident the community will come through.

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