Almost every boy imagines he will grow up to become a fireman. He envisions he has the strength and courage to selflessly rush into danger to save someone else. Few ever realize their dream; the ones who do have their mettle tested time and again. Milbank Fire and Rescue recently erected a monument to honor the brave men of their department who, when disaster struck, stood beside them in body or spirit.
The substantial memorial was installed near the entrance to the Milbank Cemetery. A life-sized fireman rises upon it and behind him the names of the volunteer firemen are engraved in the granite. Milbank Fire Chief Kevin Schuelke said, “the monument acts as a tribute to all the fireman who risked their lives to protect Milbank and the surrounding communities. It will stand as the firemen stood – brave and with dignity.”
A prayer is also etched in the stone. It reads
When duty calls me, oh Lord, wherever flames may rage, Give me the strength to save some life whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late, Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert, and oh Lord, guide my every move, For life is so precious, please don’t let us lose.
I want to fill my calling and give the best in me, To guard my every neighbor and protect their property.
And if according to Thy will, that I must give my life, Then with Thy protecting hand my Lord,
I pray thee, protect my children and my wife.
Money for the public statue was received in the form of memorials from many of the families of the firemen. Additions will be added to honor current firefighters.