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Plans for Montana Firefighter Memorial Park in Laurel inching closer to reality

Posted at 4:18 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:01:31-04

LAUREL – A new video rendering shared with KTVQ on Wednesday shows plans for the Montana Firefighter Memorial Park in Laurel are coming together piece by piece.

This video shows Phase 3, which includes landscaping such as flowers, grasses and boulders, as well as the centerpiece: three marble signs.

“The fly through is really what gave people the second burst of energy. It really brought forward the fact that it’s going to be a reality,” said Ken Olson, a retired Laurel volunteer firefighter on the memorial planning committee. “And some of the older firemen who have worked throughout the year, they see that. And you can tell they get prickly on the back of their necks, and they feel a little bit of pride.”

Two of the signs will be embossed with the names of the fallen firefighters etched in gold writing.

The other sign will describe the sacrifice made by these brave men and women.

“Not only are they, but their families are at time under stress,” said Olson. “This community is full of firemen, volunteer firefighters and retirees so everyone knows someone personally.”

The concept was first born in 2003, but a series of problems, including finances, have delayed the project.

But the committee said it’s now ready to show off its hard work to the city of Laurel and people of Montana.

“I can’t think of a better place to put it. When you talk about 4th of July here, it’s the fireworks and firemen,” said Olson.

The center sign, which will be made of granite, will feature a Maltese Cross, which is a symbol of protection and a badge of honor.

This phase of the project comes with a price tag of $50,000, according to Olson.

Olson said the committee has raised half of the cost already and hopes to recoup the rest through grants and other fundraising efforts.

The project is set for a grand reveal Sept. 8.

“It’s been a dream for a lot of those who started it throughout the years,” said Olson.

Olson said what people see in September will be exceptional, but the final phase won’t be completed for a couple more years.

The committee is selling Maltese Crosses for $500 to raise money for the memorial.

Reporting by Aja Goare for MTN News

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