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 from taking place on Saturday.
To see a full gallery of the STL Crane Project ceremony, visit 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 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.
Here in Affton and Shrewsbury, we have three names on the list:
- Jerry Buehne, Affton Fire Protection District
- Joseph Ritter, Affton Fire Protection District
- Robert Brehm, Shrewsbury Fire Department
- William McEntee, Kirkwood Police Department