Martinez Memorial 1996

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Upon the shores of a sooth and subsiding sea...
Memorial Park
Was Erected a tribute not to the fallen, but to the
The Dais




Dedicated rather to their faith...
Abiding the octagon


Consecrated instead of by our hope...
Fire Blossoms




Entrusted all along to commitment...
The Breadth


In memory of undying music...
Plaque top




Representing life exalted...
Plaque front


In stone... embossed and implored.
Invitation to Memorial




Thank God for that loyal blue line...
Loyal Blue Line


For they rescued us in 1976
Doves released 1976




Resuscitated us in 1996...
Bob Eason


And sent us home adored.
Bob Eason



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"Hello, my name is Captain Dave George, and l would like to share with you a Fire Fighters‘ view...

In 1976, l was a senior at Alhambra High School in Martinez and l was a Reserve Fire Fighter for Contra Costa County Fire. l was in class on May 2Ist when the office called me down and said that the Fire Department had called and requested that l report: immediately to my station. l spent the next several hours at Station 14 in Martinez, just like many of us here, wondering what was happening - having a strange mixture of fear and disbelief of what was occurring just a few miles away.

Toward the end of the day, l watched as tour of the fire fighters who where first in on the accident returned to the station and sat down at the table. l had seen these four men come back from many calls before. They normally would sit down at the table, smile, talk about the call, grab a cup of coffee and tease us reserves that maybe some day we could do the same fire fighting as they did. I saw that they were ordinary people, just like you and me, who had chosen an
extraordinary job.

But the day of the accident was totally different. They sat down at the table and stared away. Their complexion was pale and drawn. One Fire Fighter didn't even want to talk about it, and the others just kept shaking their heads. Many times they said, "They wished they could have done more.“ Those seven words stuck with me tor the next  20 years as l followed those men and eventually became a Fire Fighter. I believe those seven words, "They wished they could have done more," were part of the reason this monument was built.

As Fire Fighters, we are often faced with overwhelming odds and in the end, despite all we do, we wish we could have done more. Our calling is to do all we can to protect lite and property. As Fire Fighters, we have come to appreciate life because we have held it so often in our hands just before it is gone. We also have to deal with death and tragedy. To deal with tragedies like this one, many of the Fire Fighters went home and wanted to hug their families.

That day and forever, we became part of Yuba City and its families. On that day, we experienced the loss along with everyone involved.

Monuments are built to remember. This monument brings together everyone who was even remotely affected lay the incident. Standing here now in this beautiful setting reminds us ot the beauty these lives represented. For Fire Fighters, this monument is one small expression of wanting to have done more.

One day, while building this monument, some small children came by who were collecting the prettiest feathers they could find. They asked the Fire Fighters what they were doing. When they were told, they wanted to do something, too. So, when the concrete was poured, those same beautiful feathers were placed into the monument.

We probably can never bring complete closure to the incident. but, we now have a place where we can come as a family to reflect on and remember those lives that were affected and those lives that moved on to heaven. l believe that the Yuba City High School Choir moved on and became a great choir in heaven. Their memory will live on. And for those of us who believe what the  Bible says, we will one day see them again.

Please allow me to pray and dedicate this monument. Lord...l would like to pray tor three things:

  1. first, for the families, the friends and the survivors of the accident. l pray that You would ease the pain of their loss. Please give them comfort any time they feel the pain. l pray, Lord, that this incident would not shake their faith in You, and that You would give them an extra measure of strength.
  2. Next, l pray tor the Fire Fighters who helped at the accident, that they would feel at peace and know that "They did do more," and l pray tor all Fire Fighters - that You would protect them, guide them and keep them safe in thei jobs.
  3. Lastly, l pray that those who visit this place would see the love we still have for families, the love that went into building this monument and the love You want us to have tor one another.

In Christ's name, we pray. Amen."

- Fire Captain Dave George
Contra Costa County Fire Protection District
Sunday, September 15, 1996
Martinez Waterfront Memorial Grove
Ferry Point Picnic Area

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