“The design “We Were There” includes a large bronze statue of a firefighter who has returned to earth from heaven via a sixty-foot high fire pole to point out the names of his fallen comrades on the memorial wall. The memorial wall, in the abstract shape of Canada, contains the names of all fallen firefighters randomly in cloud like formations roughly over the area of Canada near where they died. Firefighters who died together are listed beside each other. A lone pine tree, planted in a significant spot in the memorial site, represents the lone Canadian and the Canadian forests protected from fire by the bronze firefighter and the large fire pole which also acts as a lightning rod. The Foundation’s motto, “Never to be forgotten” is engraved on the pine tree rock. The site contains unique materials which symbolize Canada. Plantings, which in turn red in the fall, represent the retardant dropped by air crews who fight devastating forest fires in Western Canada.
Another unique aspect of the CFM, includes the use of old brass hose couplings in the production of some of the bronze elements. Based on a suggestion from members of the CAFC, fire department across Canada each sent one hose couple; a piece of their history, to the Harman Foundary in Red Deer Alberta to be used as part of the Memorial. Parts of the finished bronze elements of the Memorial actually have a piece of many departments from across Canada, making it truly national.
The Canadian Firefighters Memorial captures the significance of the sacrifices made by the Canadian Fire Service in a uniquely Canadian setting. It is a place for the annual memorial ceremony as well as a place for individual reflection throughout the year to remember those in the fire service who have given their lives for communities across Canada.”