Arkansas honored firefighters lost in the line of duty last Saturday

Last Saturday, Arkansas gave well-deserved recognition to firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty with the dedication of the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Little Rock.  The memorial is a culmination of nearly 30 years of work by supporters.  The memorial includes a bronze statue depicting firefighters and a child, as well as a fountain base.  It also includes the names of 99 firefighters who died as heroes since 1889.  Dignitaries included Governor Mike Beebe and Lt. Ray McCormock of the New York City Fire Department. ““The greatest act of bravery a firefighter performs is putting on the uniform. Anything other than that is just in the line of duty,” said McCormock. “Firefighter’s are the core of what is good about a society. The willingness to do more, to go above and beyond what is expected is what firefighter’s are going to do every day of the year.”  Local dignitaries present at the event included Heber Springs Mayor Jackie McPherson and Heber Fire Chief Linc Cothren. 


“It was a great event and very moving being able to honor one of our local firefighters, as well as others around the state,” said McPherson.


Cynthia South, a contributor to The Sun-Times, was also present at the event.


“Getting to be apart of the Arkansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial last Saturday was an indescribable feeling…standing in the middle of thousands of heroes was a pretty amazing feeling,” said South.  “Seeing so many men and women who risk their lives everyday to save a strangers home and life was heart warming. Keynote speaker Lt. Ray McCormock made some excellent points about the lives of firefighters and their families. He was spot-on when he said that ‘the greatest act of bravery a firefighter performs is putting on the uniform.’ I’m only the photographer…I don’t even get close to the fire, but seeing the HSFD in action is amazing. They do everything in their power to save a strangers home. Once they pull on their turnouts, they don’t stop until all that is left is wet debris and smoke.”


“Hearing the roll call of the fallen firefighters was emotional,” continued South  “Hearing name after name, as the honor guard laid a rose down was a very sobering moment. They called names from the 1800’s to the present. I heard a lot of places that I’d never heard of, and a lot of Little Rock firefighters, but when I heard James Milton Little who died in the line of duty on December 7, 1941, from Heber Springs’ name called, it all become more real.”