Chief Dennis Compton (Ret.), from the Phoenix and Mesa (AZ) Fire Departments, leads by example. Whether in his fire departments or in his current role as the Chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board of Directors, Chief Compton’s actions speak volumes.
As plans were being made for the official dedication of the Pre-1981 Section of the Walk of Honor® at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Chief Compton again exemplified his leadership qualities and commitment to the fire service. He sponsored the area of more than 40 individualized bricks and headers to honor all of the Arizona firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice prior to 1981, the year the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built.
“I want to ensure that these men and women from Arizona who made the ultimate sacrifice were remembered in this special Section of the Walk of Honor,” Chief Compton explained. “I am also eager to see other fire service leaders and organizations join in this effort by sponsoring the Pre-1981 fallen firefighters
from their own states.”
In addition to Chief Compton’s gift on behalf of Arizona, the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Trust Fund stepped up as well. Thanks to their efforts, 90 Oregon firefighters who died before 1981 now have an individual brick that includes their name, agency, and year of death. The 90 bricks from Oregon are headed by three logo bricks, one for the State Fallen Firefighter Memorial, one for the Oregon Fire Service Honor Guard, and the third for the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Trust Fund.
The Pre-1981 section allows families, friends, departments and organizations to memorialize these firefighters by purchasing personalized bricks that will be installed in this distinctive area of the Walk of Honor®. Since the official dedication in June, many individuals, as well as state and national fire service associations, have sponsored bricks to fill all or part of their state’s section in a display of honor and respect.
“Although many of these firefighters’ sacrifices have been honored locally and at the state level in the past, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is proud to now honor these courageous men and women at the national level in Emmitsburg,” Compton said. “This is a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to fulfill the Foundation’s mission.”