New Windsor monument honours fallen local firefighters
WINDSOR -- A special memorial honouring local fallen firefighters that has been 20 years in the making is nearly complete.
The midnight granite and bronze statue sits under the Canadian flag overlooking the Detroit River along Windsor's downtown waterfront.
The monument is a dream come true for families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty, those like Jane Seguin.
Seguin lost her husband Ray in 2001 to lung cancer he developed over a 26-year career fighting fires in Windsor.
His sacrifice has been commemorated at the national memorial in Ottawa, and is now being recognized in the city where he put his life on the line.
"When he set his mind to do something he did it and that's why this memorial is so important for it to be finished," she says.
Her husband helped in the initial stages of the campaign to build the memorial in Windsor.
A plaque with all the names engraved will be added at the official opening in April.
City firefighters contributed money out of their own paycheques for years to help cover the roughly $300,000 cost.
Windsor Firefighter Ian Ellwood says, "They gave everything for their community so to have that down there and be able to show it off, I don't think any of them would've done anything different."
Ellwood's father Darrell also passed from cancer related to his work eight years ago at just 50 years old.
The younger Ellwood has followed in his firefighter father's footsteps and says a ceremony to unveil the monument will be special.
"I don't know, it's going to bring back a lot of memories probably and you know, happy memories, and it's just exciting."
The elegant stone stands as a reminder that firefighters don't just face the immediate dangers of crumbling buildings, but also exposure to chemicals and carcinogens.