Manchester Firefighters' Memorial Garden
The Manchester Firefighters Memorial Garden was dedicated on September 11, 2002 in memory of ALL WHO ANSWERED THE FINAL ALARM. Located at Fire Station No. 5, 331 Tolland Turnpike, Manchester, CT, the garden is a mix of memorials and plantings adjacent to the American flag. The garden currently contains nine different memorials.
The first New York memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2002 and is comprised of two retired twin alarm boxes depicting the North and South World Trade Center Towers, flanked by the names of all 343 New York Firefighters lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Worcester, Massachusetts Memorial consists of an ornamental gate with the names of the six Worcester Firefighters lost in a warehouse fire on December 3, 1999. On the East end of the memorial garden, bushes outline a large W6 along with the gate for an aerial tribute.
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A stone and flowering tree were dedicated to West Hartford Firefighter Pat Brooks who died in the line of duty November 12, 2002.
On September 11, 2005, a Manchester Memorial was dedicated to the four South Manchester Firefighters who died in the line of duty. An eternal hydrant flows nearby to honor our own fallen brothers: Edward Post, Hose Co. #3 - April 20, 1921; George Bassett, Ladder Co. #1 - April 7, 1923; Laurence Freiheit, Engine Co. #1 - March 9, 1973; Frank Ennis, Hose Co. #2 - March 30, 1980.
The Charleston Nine Memorial commemorates the tragic fire that claimed the lives of nine Charleston, South Carolina firefighters in a flashover and structural collapse on June 18, 2007. The names of those who perished will be forever remembered on the granite stones arranged in a large symbolic "9", which adorns the garden lawn.
The Captain John Keane Memorial Bench was dedicated on September 11, 2010. On May 22, 2007, Captain John Keane of the Waterbury Fire Department, died from injuries he sustained in an apparatus accident on May 19, 2007 while enroute to a reported structure fire.
On September 11, 2010, the Bridgeport Fire Department Memorial Ladder was dedicated. On July 24, 2010, Lieutenant Steven Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik of the Bridgeport Fire Department, died while operating at a structure fire. Both men were assigned to Ladder 11 and in the process of searching for victims.
On June 30, 2013, nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew in Prescott, Arizona perished fighting the wind-whipped Yarnell Hill fire. 8,400 acres and over 400 homes were lost in the blaze, representing the worst loss of life in a wildland fire in 80 years. The blaze was determined to have started from a lightning strike. A Granite Mountain silhouette rises before you in memory of the brave Hotshot Crew.
The centerpiece of the garden is a large, hand-etched memorial stone depicting Manchester's twin quints, Old Glory, and our American Eagle. Next to the stone is a beautiful bronze bell mounted on a granite stone.
The newest addition is a 4,800 pound steel column from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The steel was from the east exterior wall near the ground floor plaza area and was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
Hundreds of visitors stop by yearly to visit the garden and its on-duty Firefighters to reflect and to remember all who have answered the final alarm.
Directions: Exit 63 off Interstate 84 (one minute off highway). Going eastbound, right off exit, left onto Tolland Turnpike. Going westbound, right off exit, right onto Tolland Turnpike.
The garden has always been self-sufficient, although donations are welcomed and appreciated. Donations can be sent to:
Manchester Fire Department
c/o Manchester Firefighter Memorial Garden Fund
75 Center Street
Manchester, CT 06040
To view a live camera of the memorial garden, click on any of the pictures above or the FDNY picture below.
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