‘Dedicated to those who operate in chaos’

Officials unveil Medford's First Responders Monument

Photos by Kathy Chang/The Sun
“This monument, this place, this tremendous block of stone, is dedicated to those who operate in chaos,” said Police Chief Arthur E. Waterman of the memorial, unveiled in April

A new monument honoring all first responders from Burlington County now sits in the middle of Freedom Park in Medford.

Officials hope it will be a place of “honor and reflection for first responders” and “a permanent reminder of the sacrifice made by these men and women” for park visitors.

- Advertisement -

The Medford Sunrise Rotary and township officials welcomed neighborhood first responders throughout the county as they unveiled and dedicated the Burlington County First Responders Monument in April. Police Chief Arthur E. Waterman offered thanks to the parties involved, including the First Responder Monument Committee for making the monument a reality.

“This monument, this place, this tremendous block of stone is dedicated to those who operate in chaos,” he said. “We put the uniform on and face evil that exists in our society and to protect all people who need assistance on their worst days. This monument is dedicated to those currently serving as police officers, firefighters, EMTs (emergency medical technicians), telecommunicators and civil volunteers.

“It is also dedicated to those that came before us and served in these capacities,” Waterman added. “The majority of these responders were able to retire. This monument is a place they can come and reflect on those experiences. Some gave their lives while executing their duties. This is a place for family, colleagues and the community to reflect and remember the sacrifice of what they meant to all of us.”

The chief also noted that the monument is “about our future.”

“It’s a place for our children to come and dream, to learn what it means to help and bring shape to their desires to serve others,” he explained. “As a first responder, I think I can speak for my colleagues and say we are extremely proud to serve our communities throughout the county, and eternally grateful for this monument, which recognizes the hard work of all those who put the uniform on in Medford and throughout Burlington County.”

The monument was gifted to Medford by the all-volunteer monument committee, which raised almost all the funds needed for the memorial and pavers, officials said. Dave Stow, owner of the Bradley Stow Funeral Home, was also acknowledged for his efforts and contributions in the design, construction, transport and installation of all of the monuments in Freedom Park, valued at close to $100,000.

During the process, the monument committee held an essay contest for local students on what it means to be a first responder. A first responders time capsule is buried at the monument for the next generation to open on 9/11 – of 2051.

The monument area includes a time capsule to be opened in 27 years.
- Advertisment -