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Union firefighters to be honored

Union County, city of Monroe and the Monroe Rotary Club will honor their firefighters on Sept. 11 with the dedication of a memorial in front of the historic courthouse in Monroe.

The granite memorial's centerpiece will be a fire bell from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that summoned Monroe volunteer firefighters to duty.

The memorial also will display the names of the three firefighters from Union County who have been killed in the line of duty. They are:

Tommy Griffin of the Sandy Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, who died in 1967. He was electrocuted while fighting a fire in a well-drilling machine.

Kenneth Strain of the Hemby Bridge Volunteer Fire Department, killed in 1999 when the fire truck he was driving crashed.

Todd Hage of the Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, who died Aug. 11, 2007. He also was killed in a fire-truck crash.

The memorial, to be placed on the main walkway of the Hayne Street side of the building, cost $25,000. The Rotary Club put up $20,000 of the cost. The county and city governments each provided $2,500.

The dedication is scheduled for Thursday at 7p.m. on the courthouse's front lawn.