Algonquin board members gave the green light for the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Firefighters Association to use a portion of parkland along the Fox River to build a yet-to-be-determined firefighters memorial.
The memorial would be in honor of fallen firefighters within the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District and the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Lt. Matt Berg said during a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night. The memorial would be built on a 60 foot by 60 foot area on the north end of Riverfront Park, east of Harrison Street where it meets Edward Street, and across from where the old firehouse -- now demolished -- was located until about eight years ago.
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Two Algonquin-Lake in the Hills firefighters have died in the line of duty since the department was first formed in 1895: Edwin Benson, who died in 1967, and G.D. "Mac" McIntyre, who died in 1976, firefighter/paramedic Dan Teson said.
In addition, the memorial will honor the "numerous lost American lives (on 9/11), including 343 of our brothers from the New York City Fire Department," Berg said.
Trustee Debby Sosine asked whether the firefighters considered building the memorial by the current firehouse on Algonquin Road in Lake in the Hills, but Berg explained the somewhat hidden location perched on a hill is still unknown to many.
Trustee Jim Steigert said he was concerned about taking land away from the Founders' Days festivities, but trustee John Spella said he thought the loss of land was well worth the cause.
The association began working on the plan about four years ago, when the original idea was to build a 9-foot bronze statue that would have cost $50,000. "That was our initial plan, but that changed with the economic climate," Teson said.
The firefighters association has done several speaking seminars to raise money for the project, Teson said.