Portland, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - - To be a firefighter is to accept the inherent dangers of the job. Many are hurt and some die in the line of duty.
On Saturday firefighters and citizens of Portland dedicated a new place to remember those who left on a call and didn't make it back. Since the department's inception in 1768, Portland Fire has lost 20 men. Their names are now eternally etched on the Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
But it's the stories behind those names that will move you. Like Frank Cowen who died in 1993 before he got to meet his five grandchildren. Or Ralph Eldridge who died in 1913. He came from a long line of area firefighters.
Sandra Jackson, Frank Cowen's Widow said, "This memorial is an honor and a privilege for my husband to be remembered and he is remembered and he will always be remembered."
Lieutenant Ralph Eldridge's Great Grandson said, "He was always revered in the household. They had pictures of him and a proclamation from the city honoring him at his death so it was always a very great honor that he gave his life for the city. So now to see this monument it's very nice for the family, for his memory."
The Fallen Firefighters Memorial is on the front lawn of the Central Fire Station. It was funded by business and private contributions.