Cavaletto: 'Sadness, pride' part of fallen firefighter ceremony
The 24th Annual Memorial Program for Illinois Fallen Firefighters in Springfield pulled Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) in two directions recently, he said.
"This memorial program that I have attended every year while serving in the state Legislature hits close to home with mixed emotions of pride and sadness for me," Cavaletto said. "I have a son who is a firefighter, and I feel for the families each year who have lost a loved one."
Work on Illinois Firefighter Memorial began in 1993 after the Illinois Fire Services Association called for a place of recognition, according to Cavaletto, the Republican spokesman for the House’s Fire & Emergency Services Committee. The memorial stands near the state Capitol.
The memorial is dedicated to Illinois firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty and to those firefighters who “heroically serve with courage, pride and honor,” Cavaletto said.
“There are 2,400 red paver bricks which are enclosed by a 2-foot wall with capstones engraved with contributor’s names," he said. "It is here, at the Illinois Firefighter Memorial, that we honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice."
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