State leaders hold annual firefighter’s memorial ceremony

Jim Grady, retired Frankfort fire chief, presided over Tuesday’s Illinois fire memorial ceremony. (Photo courtesy: Dave Dahl/Springfield)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – A warm, hazy morning Tuesday greeted those attending the annual firefighters’ memorial ceremony outside the Capitol.

“We come together because, when we all speak their names as one,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, “the echoes of the heroism and the heart they exemplified travel that much farther.”

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza referred to the mental health needs of first responders and their families: “Please know that I join you in grief,” she said. “It is not a burden that you must carry alone. There is a vast network right here and a community that is here to support you. This community of first responders is an extended family that includes firefighters, paramedics, and EMT’s alike and families from all around this state – in every corner of it.”

Four names were added to the memorial statue southwest of the Capitol building:

  • Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Pickering of the Chicago Fire Department
  • Firefighter MaShawn Plummer of the Chicago Fire Department
  • Lieutenant Garrett Ramos of the Sterling Fire Department
  • Firefighter Mehdi Mourad of the Wabash Fire Protection District

Dave Dahl can be reached at


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