Firefighters Memorial Park in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

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If you drive along Highway 54 on the West side of the Wisconsin River between Wisconsin Rapids and Port Edwards, Wisconsin you will find the Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial. Governor Tommy Thompson authorized the memorial in 1996. No tax money was used to build it as it is completely funded by tax deductible donations. Fire Prevention Week was designated by the Wisconsin Legislature to be the week whne October 8 occurs. The Saturday of that week is the Wisconsin Firefighters Memorial Day. That week also is for remembrance of the Peshtigo Fire and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, according to Wikipedia. Wisconsin Rapids was chosen over such places as Milwaukee and Madison because it is nearer the center of the state.

I was rather surprised that the memorial was set up in Wisconsin Rapids rather than one of the better-known cities in the state. However, our town is centrally located about half way between the Twin cities of Minnesota and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Firefighters memorial wall. It si somewaht along the lines of the Viet Nam veterans wall.
Firefighters memorial wall. It si somewaht along the lines of the Viet Nam veterans wall. | Source
Gazebo type structure at the Firefighters Memorial
Gazebo type structure at the Firefighters Memorial | Source
View of the river from the Firefighters Memorial
View of the river from the Firefighters Memorial | Source

Funding the Memorial


Governor James Doyle signed a bill allowing Wisconsin income tax payers or those that file tax returns to donate money to the fund for the memorial. An annual motorcycle ride has been held since 2004 to raise money for a visitor’s center and to raie the money needed to maintain the center.

View or Wisconsin River behind Firefighters Memorial
View or Wisconsin River behind Firefighters Memorial | Source

The Park


A statue of three life size firefighters rescuing another firefighter is the centerpiece of the park. There are benches with plaques commemorating individual firefighters. A tower with a firebell commemorates the bell historically used to sound a fire call. An American flag flies over the park.

Copyright 2011 Don Hoglund

Bell Tower. Represents bells which were used at one time to sound alarm for fire.
Bell Tower. Represents bells which were used at one time to sound alarm for fire. | Source
A markerWisconsin firefighters memorial -
Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495, USA
[get directions]

Location of Firefighters Memorial

© 2011 Don A. Hoglund

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Comments 22 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

This is a fine tribute, Don! Well done and voted that way.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks Will for being the first to comment and also for the votes. It is a nice park area.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Very nice! I didn't even know this was in Wisconsin Rapids! :) Nicely done!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

KathyH.Thanks for commenting. I don't think it is all that well known.


mathira profile image

mathira 4 years ago from chennai

These sort of hubs makes us know the unknown but important places that might have otherwise escaped the notice of others.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 4 years ago from India

Very Beautiful pictures and nice memorial.. I have never seen any memrorial like this.. I dont think my country even care for its firefighters.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for commenting Mathira. I remember the local paper awhile back had a feature about it, but otherwise I have not seen much publicity. This firefighter memorial is in a parklike area by the river and could be a nice place to stroll or sit and meditate about things.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi sweetie. Thanks for reading and commenting. I think in the United States we have become more aware of people like firefighters since the attack on the World Trade Center on 9?11. Many were very heroic as they are on less visible things day by day.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a beautiful memorial for the firefighters. Obviously when we lived in Wisconsin Rapids, it did not yet exist. Enjoyed hearing about it as well as seeing your photos of the location along the Wisconsin River. Voted up, interesting and beautiful. Thanks!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Peggy. I had originally planned on writing this up for the contest. Unfortunately I did not care for my original pictures and then we had a streak of bad weather.All in all I missed the deadline before I came up with pictures I like. Thanks for the comment and votes.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative. I had never know about this before. Thanks, brother. You open my eyes about historical place in USA. I love all the pictures above. You have done a great job here. Thank you very much. Take care!

Love and peace, Prasetio


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

praisetio your comment is much appreciated. Our little city does have a few things of interest.Best wishes.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Oh well...it is now out there in hubland forever or as long as you keep it up. Am sure that this information about the firefighters memorial park will be enjoyed by many people!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I got other entries into the contest so it doesn't really matter. Thanks for the comment.


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

What an awesome and beautiful hub. It is great to have a memorial such as this in any city. Great it is your city.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for visiting my hub.Your comment is appreciated.


Vern B 4 years ago

Good pictures and summary of the firefighters' memorial. I especially liked the mood shot of the bench with the river in the background. Thanks for bringing the memorial to potential visitors' attention!

Also enjoyed your earlier pictures of the river, especially the one from under the bridge.

Keep it up!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks Vern. I am glad you liked the memorial pictures as well as the others.I'm kind of surprised that the firefighters memorial has not been more publicized.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I love the gazebo. It is nice to see an area that supports their civil servants to this magnitude. Awesome!!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting on the Firefighters Memorial hub.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 4 years ago from Wisconsin

Another great reason to visit the Rapids.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting springboard.Glad you liked the Firefighters Memorial.

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