Plans For A State of Texas Firefighter Memorial and Pavilion IGNITE!
Beaumont Fire & Rescue, the Fire Museum of Texas and Firefighter’s Local 399 are excited to reveal plans for construction of a Bronze Memorial and Pavilion that will honor all State of Texas Firefighters.
The Memorial will be located on the C.A. “Pete” Shelton Memorial Plaza located at 400 Walnut in downtown Beaumont. A fundraising campaign for the project, which is estimated to be $250,000, is scheduled to “IGNITE” on April 16, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. at a press conference. The public is invited to attend the event. Free tours of the Museum and refreshments will follow.
Artist Ron Petitt has been commissioned to create the Texas Firefighter Memorial which will consist of two life-sized bronze figures depicting a Fire Chief giving directions to a Firefighter attacking a fire. Petitt is the artist on the Beaumont Police and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials, and is currently working on the Veteran’s Memorial at the Ben Roger’s Regional Visitor’s Center.
“The Plaza offers the perfect setting for a tribute to all Firefighters,” said Tommy May, retired Firefighter. “The addition to the Plaza at the corner of the Main Street and Calder intersection addition will act as a gateway to the Museum District and serve as a gathering place for community events and draw additional tourism.”
The pavilion will be a 30 x 50 foot “Bandstand” style structure. Upon completion, it will be available for public rental. “The covered area will enhance the Museum and attract additional tours and groups,” said Carol Gary, Executive Director. “A new place to rest, relax, enjoy refreshments after a tour or host an after hours outdoor event in the Historical District is a huge asset to the community.”
Currently the Plaza is home to a 24 foot Fire Hydrant donated by Walt Disney in 1999. The Plaza also displays a Memorial to the New York Firefighters who lost their lives trying to save others on September 11, 2001. The area is surrounded by brick pavers with individual names of fire departments, and retired, fallen or deceased Firefighters from all over the state. The new addition to the Plaza will offer individuals, families, schools and businesses an opportunity to show appreciation to the dedicated service of Firefighters. Projected completion date is spring of 2009.
Former Chief Pete Shelton, Captain Ted Hillin, Firefighter, Tommy May, and Carol Gary, will lead the efforts of the fund raising group.
The Fire Museum of Texas is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that works to raise public awareness about fire safety and the history of the fire service. It opened in 1986, and has been endorsed by the State Firemen’s & Fire Marshals’ Association as the Official Fire Museum of Texas. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., after hours and group tours are by appointment. Admission is free.
For additional information, memorial bricks or donation opportunities please visit www.texasfirefightermemorial.com or call the Fire Museum of Texas at 409-880-3927.