OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Next month, the memories of firefighters who died in the line of duty will be honored in Frankfort at the Kentucky Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
The memorial will include the addition of the names of four Owensboro firefighters who died as far back as the 1920s.
Inside Fire Station 1 on West 9th Street, is a memorial to fallen Owensboro firefighters.
“My training officer, when I came on, David McCrady, is on the wall. My first captain, Jeff Millay, is on the wall,” said Lt. Andrew Behl of the Owensboro Fire Dept.
The names of John Thornberry, Captain T. Churchill Guthrie, Peter Cooper And Captain James Westerfield, will be added to the memorial during a ceremony on October 5th. Two of those firefighters died in the late 1920s, one died in 1933 and another in 1954. Lt. Behl has worked to find out more about those four, and their service to Owensboro. But not much was found in the public record.
“We also found information about four line of duty deaths that we had from the 1920s to the 1950s that have never really been documented, outside of internal documents,” he said.
Staff at the Kentucky Room at the Daviess County Public Library offered to help find descendants of the four men so they can attend the memorial too. They found a few, but they are looking for more.
“I wanted to help honor them. I didn’t like there was no information about them at all, so it was, kind of, wanting to do that to honor these men who died in the line of service,” said Christina Clary, a library associate at the Daviess Co. Public Library.
“You don’t want these guys to be lost in history. They did die doing their duty. It’d be a shame if they floated away with time,” said Lt. Behl.
(This story was originally published on September 27, 2022)
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