Cranes of Hope Honor Fallen First Responders
The STL Crane Project papered Art Hill with 1,000 cranes Sunday morning. Two officers from Arnold and two members of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department were honored.
Fifty-three years, 133 names and 1,000 cranes.
On Sunday, the STL Crane Project honored the 133 area first responders killed in the line of duty over the past 53 years with 1,000 paper cranes. The ceremony was postponed after heavy rains prevented the ceremony from taking place on Saturday.
To see a full gallery of the STL Crane Project ceremony, visit University City Patch's Facebook gallery.
Susan King, the widow of University City Sgt. Michael King, opened the ceremony by talking about the origins of the project. A Japanese girl in the 1950s stricken with leukemia made 1,000 origami cranes to receive a prayerful wish.
"Today, we remember and honor the dedication of these remarkable men and women," she said. "And with these cranes, we make our prayerful wish that we never have to add another name to this list."
The ceremony honored the fallen by reading the names and affiliation of each first responder. The dignitaries on hand to read the names were never introduced or identified—they stood up, read the names and sat back down.
Those reading the names included Rep. Russ Carnahan, Attorney General Chris Koster, County Executive Charlie Dooley, University City Council member Terry Crow and representatives from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police and St. Louis Fire Department. Jill McGuire of the Regional Arts Commission also participated.
The cranes will be sold for $10 to raise money for The Backstoppers, an organization that provides financial assistance to the families of St. Louis area first responders killed in the line of duty.
The Arnold Police Department had two names on the list. They are:
- Stephen Jarvis, June 14, 1977
- John LeCompte, October 22, 1976
Rock Community Fire Protection District had one name on the list:
- William Walls, June 5, 1995
The Jefferson Country Sheriff's Department has two names on the list. They are:
- James Garrison, July 3, 1982
- Terry O'Connell, Apr. 5, 1978
There are 11 names on the list of officers who served in the St. Louis County Police Department. They are:
- Richard Weinhold, Oct. 31, 2000
- Thomas G. Smith, Jr., Dec. 5 1997
- Willie Neal, Jan. 29, 1997
- Joann, Liscombe, Jan. 14, 1991
- Larry McCormack, , Apr. 14, 1989
- Kenneth Koch, Oct. 26, 1984
- Robert Jordan, Apr. 17, 1981
- James Reifschneider, Apr. 30, 1977
- Wayne McClelland, Apr. 17, 1975