A committee was recently formed in Saugerties to create the “Jack Rose Fallen First Responders Memorial” in recognition of all those Saugerties heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice. The memorial is located at the entrance to Cantine Field in Saugerties. A dedication ceremony was held on June 19.
Members of the services marched with a bagpipe ensemble to begin the ceremony.
“Memorials at times are very sad,” said Master of Ceremonies Stan O’Dell. “They bring sometimes very bad times back to the present. Today, we are going to memorialize very special people that gave their all – gave their lives – for this community. We want to honor them, to be glad that we’re here and to show them the support that we have.”
O’Dell offered a brief history of the planning and creation of the monument. “In February of 2019, a small group of people came up with an idea to fill a void here in Saugerties to honor fallen heroes who gave their life for the community,” said O’Dell. The first name that came up in their discussion was Jack Rose, who was 19 years old when he died fighting a fire. “It hit the hardest because he was so young,” O’Dell said. “We worked very hard over the past couple of years to make sure we didn’t miss anyone from Saugerties.” As the group formalized, it elected O’Dell president, Michael Ivino vice president and Mike Karashay secretary-treasurer.
O’Dell noted that many of the good things that come about in a community take a great amount of work by a lot of people, and you need support — the support not only from the people who worked on it, but the people who paid for it — our elected officials and dignitaries. “We have many of them here today,” he said.
“We opened our arms and gained many, many talented people to help — people in construction, an artist, graphic designer and people from the community,” O’Dell said. “A project of this magnitude takes money, and the group held several events. So this local businessman comes along who has a little forte in fundraising. “Bob Siracusano comes to a meeting and he listens through about half the meeting, then turns to me and says, ‘okay, I’m sold.’ He only asked that he be in charge of fundraising,” O’Dell said. “I have to thank Bob, because the stuff that he does is Bob’s gift to the community.” O’Dell said other people who stand out in the development of the monument are Randy Richers and John Mullen and their fire companies.
The committee estimated it would take $50,000 to $60,000 to construct the monument. They raised a total of $80,000 and built an 18-foot Onondaga limestone monument, with a bronze medallion. The bronze plaque is inspired by a ‘challenge coin,’ which among emergency services is given to show respect to honor a person. The four benches surrounding the monument are also Onondaga limestone with bronze medallions. Medallions on two benches are of the six fire departments in Saugerties, and we have police, canine and EMS. O’Dell said the brick walkway was a way to honor those people who donated to make the monument possible.
The group raised more money than was needed, so the balance will be held for other causes, such as scholarships for Saugerties students who want to go into emergency services.
Represented on the monument itself are firefighter Howard B. Garrison of the Mount Marion Fire Department, firefighter Kenny Clinch of the Mount Marion Fire Department, Captain Jack Rose of the Mount Marion Fire Department and Sgt. Kerry Winters of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department.
After the revealing of the four names, a bell tolled and the bagpipers played “Amazing Grace.”
“We have four heroes honored on this monument, but we have a small ocean of heroes behind us,” O’Dell concluded, referring to the ranks of firefighters, sheriff deputies, police officers and EMTs lined up behind the seating area.
The Fallen First Responders Memorial carries the symbols of the police, fire fighters, emergency medical services and K9 units. The symbols are enclosed in an oval affixed to a granite block, within sight of the veterans’ memorial at Cantine Field.
The ceremony for the Captain Jack Rose Fallen First Responders Memorial unveiling will be shown on Channel 23 Cable. The video by Bob Day, edited by Anastasia Redman, will air at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23; at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 26 and at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 30. The ceremony video will be uploaded the Channel 23 TV’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/191998930825590/videos/1143938452756024.