Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial

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The Memorial

The Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial is a non-profit memorial and park dedicated to firefighters from the state of Wisconsin who have died in the line of duty.[1]


The memorial was signed into law in 1996 by Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson.[2] The memorial is funded completely by tax deductible donations and no tax money was used to build the memorial.[3] On October 3, 2003, the Wisconsin Legislature designated the week which contains October 8 as Fire Prevention week.[4] The Saturday of that week is designated the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial Day; the week also commemorates the Peshtigo Fire and Great Chicago Fire from 1871.[4][5]


It is located at Ben Hansen Park on Wisconsin Highway 54 / Wisconsin Highway 73 just south of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and north of Port Edwards, Wisconsin along the Wisconsin River.[6] Locations considered for the memorial included Milwaukee (the state's largest population) and Madison; it was placed at Wisconsin Rapids to be near the center of the state for the easiest possible access for state residents.[3][7]


The centerpiece of the park is a statue of three life-sized firefighters engaged in a rescue situation.[8] One firefighter is dragging a disabled firefighter with another nearby ready to help.[1] There are benches for reflection and the American flag flies over the park.[1] A tower with a firefighter's bell commemorates the bell that firefighters historically used to signal an alarm and a fire call.[1] The memorial has a smaller bronze statue that it brings to funerals for firefighters who died in the line of duty.[9]


Sign at the Memorial

Governor Jim Doyle signed a bill that allows Wisconsin income tax filers to donate money to the memorial's funds.[10] As of the 2009 tax form, filers can fill in a donation amount to the memorial which decreases their refund or increases the amount owed.[11] The group has held an annual motorcycle bike ride since 2004 to raise money for a planned visitor's center and to raise money to maintain the center.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Marek, Ed. "Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial". WisconsinCentral.net. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "Firefighter Memorial Checkoff Bill Moves Forward". Scott Fitzgerald, Wisconsin State Senator. January 12, 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Raffle Raises Money for Firefighter Memorial". A Fire Pro. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Senator Joe Leibham's 2004 Legislative Year In Review". Joe Leibham, Wisconsin State Senator. January 2004. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Governor Doyle Signs Legislation Designating Wisconsin Firefighters Memorial Day, Fire Prevention Week". Wisconsin Office of the Governor. October 3, 2003. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Location". Google Maps. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Fired-Up American Spirit". Fire Chief. July 11, 2005. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial". FigurativeArtStudio.com. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Saying Goodbye in St. Anna, Wisconsin". Statter911.com. January 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Governor Doyle Signs Legislation to Honor Wisconsin Firefighters and Law Enforcers". Wisconsin Office of the Governor. April 11, 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  11. ^ Wisconsin 2009 Income Tax form 1A, 2009. p. 2. 
  12. ^ "Join FOX 6 for the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial Ride". WITI. July 27, 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 

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