The Los Angeles County Firefighters Memorial Committee, Inc., a non-profit organization, was created on May 6, 1988, from the Widows Support Group because the wives of fallen firefighters wanted to do something to memorialize their spouses. This Committee was incorporated to ensure legal protection of its assets and is not a Departmental responsibility, nor function, but rather a non-profit corporation associated with the Department.
One of the Committee’s first projects was to have a memorial built to honor those firefighters who had lost their lives in the line of duty. As that goal became a reality, the Committee then pursued other projects such as the Annual Firefighters Memorial Golf Tournament, the Widows & Orphans Fund, and the 80th Anniversary Yearbook
The Committee’s vision of a memorial to honor those individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty and/or succumbed to job-related injuries within five years of their retirement became a reality on Saturday, May 9, 1995, the day of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Memorial Wall.
The Committee had received sufficient donations to fund the Memorial in a landscaped island directly east of the Department’s Fire Command & Control Facility at 1320 North Eastern Avenue, Los Angeles. The cost of the Fire Fighter Memorial Wall was approximately $58,875, with Fluor Daniel Architects, who designed the FCCF building, graciously donating its time and expertise for the preliminary architectural renderings and engineering of the proposed Memorial Wall.
The Memorial Wall has proven to be a tremendous honor to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It has given the families of those firefighters a sense that although they no longer have a loved one among them, there is a place where their names are engraved for all who pass by the Memorial Wall to see and remember the tremendous sacrifice they made and the future challenges it cost their families
Each year, an Annual Memorial Service is held during the first part of May not only to recognize new names added to the Memorial Wall but also to remember those whose names were added in the past. The event is attended by Department personnel, local dignitaries, and many of the families of the fallen firefighters.
FIREFIGHTERS MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
After the dedication of the Memorial Wall, members of the Committee creatively came up with a long-term charitable giving project – a golf tournament. In August 1991, the Annual Los Angeles County Firefighters Memorial Golf Tournament was formed. The first Tournament was held in October 1991 with annual tournaments held thereafter.
Through these successful tournaments and dedicated participation by all volunteers, staff, and corporate sponsors, monies have been raised so that scholarships can be offered to the widows and children to provide them with an opportunity to pursue a higher level of education that they might not normally pursue due to limited financial ability.
WIDOWS AND ORPHANS FUND
The Widows & Orphans Fund, set up at F&A Federal Credit Union, was created in 2004 specifically to provide immediate, one-time financial assistance to widows and orphans of firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. The sponsorship of the 80th Anniversary Yearbook is an example of one project where a percentage of the proceeds of each book sold will be donated to this Fund.
This Committee and its projects help us to remember the valor of those who gave up their lives and the sacrifices they and their families made so that others would be safe. Yet, firefighters have gone and still continue to go into burning buildings to save lives of people they do not know because they have sworn to protect the public.
The huge success of these projects would not be possible were it not for the tremendous support of the Department’s own personnel.
The Committee thanks each member of the Department for its continued support and generosity! Without the support of the Department’s members, it could not have been as successful as it has been in its fundraising projects.
Click here to view the current County of Los Angeles Fire Department Firefighters Memorial Committee Bylaws.