27th Annual Iowa Firefighters Memorial Service

   The 27th Annual Iowa Firefighters Memorial Service was enjoyed by those who attended. The rains came off and on throughout the day on Saturday, June 11th but stopped for the evening, so we could have the 20th Annual Candlelight Service at 9 p.m.  

   The address for the site is: 1 Russell Slade Blvd. (Exit 242 off of I-80)

   Around 250 people attended this service with Rev. David Arnold of Coralville giving his message for all fire service personnel and their families and friends. It is amazing how many families have more than one generation of firefighters in their lives.

   The attendance for the 27th Annual Memorial Service on Sunday, June 12th was around 1,000 or more.  Standing room only as the grass was pretty wet.

   This year we added 120 new names to the walls.  Three of those names were added to the center panel which is the Ultimate Sacrifice panel. The additions were: Robert L. Arens of Remsen; Ken Cavanaugh of Woodward & Bouton; Brian Shanstrom of Libertyville.  There are now a total of 3,354 names on all of the walls.

   At 7 a.m. we had a downpour but again, Mother Nature stopped the rain so we could get things set up for the service.



   Iowa Firefighters Association President, Jason Barrick of Iowa Falls, and his board of directors along with their spouses helped as well as several other Memorial Committee Members and their spouses.  There were also fire service friends from all over the state helping to make things run smoothly.  

   When many help the jobs get completed much quicker. We heard many good comments this year and with continued support this service and site will remain in the hearts of all of us.

   It is truly wonderful that people drive long distances to honor loved ones and friends, especially with gas prices at the average of $4.69 a gallon!  Hopefully all were blessed with safe travels.

   We want to say, many thanks, to all who support the Memorial Wall Expansion Project.

   Six rows on the last available panels are already filled. Every little bit  helps.  Several Fund Raisers have already brought in funds for the Wall Expansion. Keep up the good work!

   We need to give a special “THANK YOU” to Mike Kuk, our Veteran Musician, for coming up to Iowa from Louisiana each year to support his home state of Iowa and usually enjoy the weather! Pretty humid this week after the service!  

   We also thank Glenn Chatfield of North Liberty for his continued support and all of his friends who help with the musical parts of the service.  Great bunch of talented folks for sure.

   Halli Weddle of Minburn, IA joined us once again to sing the National Anthem and she will join us again next year after her senior year of high school.  

     Rev. David Arnold of Coralville led us in prayer at the Candlelight Service and Sunday morning service. He’s become a part of our Iowa Fire Service family and we greatly appreciate him taking the time to be with us.

   We thank Jack Runge of Buckeye, IA who read the 120 names added to the walls this year.  This takes a very strong voice and he does a fine job! Jack helps in so many ways we can’t begin to thank him for all that he has done.

   Gene Evans of Osage was our bell ringer for this year and has helped out in other various rolls over the years.

   Coralville Fire Chief, Orey Scwitzer, and his department of men and women do the grunt work before and after the services as they set up the tents, etc. and do it with smiles each and every year. Thank You!

   Special thanks to John Novak of Traer for helping with things all year long and especially that weekend.  Couldn’t do it without him!

   We thank Diana Lundell for keeping the bios up to date in the website and Dave Stannard and his wife Deb for all the personal touches around the grounds.

   We know we have likely forgotten someone so THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED NO MATTER HOW SMALL OR LARGE THE EFFORT. It means a great deal to all of us on the committee.

   The 28th Annual Iowa Firefighters Memorial will be held on June 11, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. with the Candlelight Service the evening before on June 10th.   

   The next cut-off date for sending in applications for adding names to the wall is May 10, 2023.  



   Send form or contributions to: Mike Reuman, Chairman, Iowa Firefighters Memorial Committee, PO Box 7, Traer, Iowa 50675.

   The criteria for getting a name on the wall (Outside of Line of Duty) is the firefighter must have served a minimum of 10 years on an Iowa Fire Department or died while an active member of an Iowa Fire Department. Currently the cost to have a name put on the wall is $100 and must be paid by the family or the fire department.  A form for placing a departed firefighter’s name on the Memorial Wall can be found on the Memorial Website www.iowafirememorial.

org Their name will be engraved on the wall just the way it is written on the form. Line of Duty Deaths are paid for by the Memorial. They also need a completed form for the LODD’s. 

Contributions since the last issue of the Iowa Firefighter: 

   • 2022 Iowa Firefighters Memorial Motorcycle Riders

   • Andrew Simbro – Baxter

Memorial Wall Expansion Contributions:

   (Be sure to mark your checks for Memorial Wall Expansion)

   • Earlham Fire Dept.

   • Sharon Liittschwager – Athens, TN

   • Gary Stratton – Williamsburg

   • Ackley Fire Dept.

   • Mary Gearhardt – Colfax

   • Marietta Alesch – Remsen (In Memory of Robert L. Arens







Blaze Publications, Inc.

Jeff Gargano - Editor
P.O. Box 122
Humboldt, IA 50548

News and Advertising: News and advertising deadlines are the 15th of each month for the next month's issue.


Comment Here