WADDINGTON A firefighter for more than 20 years, Michael G. Badlam knows what it means to serve. That is why he and other members of the Waddington Volunteer Fire Department have built a memorial honoring former members.
Beside the 51 Maple St. fire hall, the memorial features a bell and a stone marker listing of the names of 83 deceased Waddington firefighters.
Mr. Badlam said he got the idea for the memorial after seeing the list of names on a piece of paper posted on a wall in the fire hall.
I thought that we should have something more to represent those people that have passed, and everybody in the department agreed with me, he said.
To be recognized, deceased firefighters must have retired from the department with at least 10 years of service since the Fire Department was incorporated in 1890.
Mr. Badlam said there is still time to honor more names.
If family members have an exempt certificate, we can do some research to find out who they were, he said. We would be more than happy to put them on the list.
A dedication of the memorial will be held at 5 p.m. Aug. 3, during Homecoming Weekend. At the dedication, the bell will ring for each name read off the marker.
It is important to recognize people and the guys that were before us, said Mr. Badlam, who also served as a fire chief for four years. Volunteerism is harder and harder to come by these days, especially with new state requirements. I think if people see some recognition, they might be encouraged to join.
The Fire Department hopes to complete the project by next week, four months after planning and construction began. The memorial cost about $6,000, Mr. Badlam said. American Legion Post 420 donated $1,000 to the project.
One girl came up to me and she was ecstatic to see her grandfather and fathers names on the marker, Mr. Badlam said. Before there was nothing just a piece of paper on a wall and now she has something.
For more information or to donate to the Waddington Fire Department, call Mr. Badlam at 388-4374.