New firefighers memorial unveiled in Anderson

Anderson County and the city of Anderson unveiled a new firefighter memorial, honoring 12 firefighters who died while serving.
Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 10:47 PM EDT
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ANDERSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A permanent reminder of the ultimate sacrifice 12 firefighters in Anderson County have made now stands tall.

On Sunday, Anderson County and the city of Anderson unveiled a 14-foot-tall firefighter memorial honoring all firefighters in the county, including those who lost their lives while serving.

The county has worked since 2019 to create this new memorial and put it front and center for the entire community to see.

30 years ago Colby Jones lost his grandpa, William N. Jones, Jr., while fighting a fire.

“He was a charter member and became fire chief in 1981. Suffered a heart attack on a fire call in ‘92,” said Jones.

William N. Jones Jr.
William N. Jones Jr.(Jones family)

Jones Jr. served at the Iva Fire Department.

“It makes me feel good but I don’t think he thought when he was answering his last call that he would ever have this kind of recognition on this kind of memorial,” he said.

Firefighters, family, and neighbors came together to witness the unveiling of the memorial.

“It means everything to us. This is the place where we’re able to permanently remember the heroes of our community that sacrificed their lives,” explained City of Anderson Fire Chief Charlie King.

The statue by artist Scott Foster uses parts of the old firefighter memorial in the county, along with old tools that were used to fight fires. It’s touted as a firefighter memorial you won’t see anywhere else.

“We decided to put it in the center of the county. On the courthouse square where everybody can see it when they come downtown and we hope it’s going to become a place where people can come and especially firefighters when they’re downtown they can come and look at their memorial,” said Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns.

For King, this memorial has a simple meaning.

“It’s just a reminder of just how difficult the job is and the dedication of every public servant that’s in Anderson,” he said.

County leaders say the memorial is also a nod to all the volunteer firefighters in the county, who put their lives on the line for just the desire to serve.