Fort Worth Fallen Heroes Finally Honored

Fort Worth dedicates new Police and Firefighters' Memorial

Standing tall in Fort Worth's Trinity Park, the Police and Firefighters Memorial is a testimony of dedication of the 95 fallen heroes killed in the line of duty.

More than1,000 people were at the dedication on Friday. Among them, Jammie Schmunk and David Gaul, children of James Gaul, a Fort Worth Police officer killed Jan. 10, 1979.

"I think it's what nightmares are made out of actually," said Schmunk when asked about the day her father died.

It's been a long time coming for all of the families and the memories are still fresh for many.

"It's all coming back. It's just like it happened yesterday for me," said Gaul.

Until Friday, Fort Worth was the largest U.S. city without such a memorial.  That was a source of embarassment for those who live there, but leaders hope the thoughtful tribute will make up for the many years the families had to go without.
"We hope and pray that this memorial lives up to your expectations, because we know the one you lost while bravely serving this city certainly lived up to ours," said Mayor Mike Moncrief.

There is a path lined with pillars; each is topped with someone's story.

There is a bronze statue of a firefighter, a police officer and a riderless horse. There is also a black granite wall engraved with the names of the fallen.

Some, like Columbus Fitzgerald died more than a century ago. It seems like others were killed just yesterday.

All of them leave families behind who are thankful their loved ones finally have a place of honor. It's a reassurance their sacrifice is not forgotten. 

The Police and Firefighter Memorial was built on land donated by the city. It was built with more than $1 million in private donations. 

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