A local salon owner is putting some last minute touches on a ceremony to honor firefighters who’ve served our community and have since passed away.
Morris Gutierrez, a retired firefighter himself, wanted to pay tribute to all of the deceased firefighters of the Albuquerque Fire Department. He also wants to pay tribute to the families who’ve stood by their side.
“It proves that through servant-hood we all can create a better community. It’s not just what we can do for our city but what we can do for our families and continuing that recognition for them,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez started this memorial project after fellow firefighter Zeke Hernandez passed away from a chronic illness.
Hernadez had a flagpole outside of his house. After his passing, Hernadez’s wife offered the flagpole to Gutierrez.
Now, the pole sits outside of his salon, Cosmos Hair Concepts.
Gutierrez decided he would place the tags of the deceased firefighters onto the pole and attach a memorial plaque for Hernandez at the bottom.
There are now 256 names on it, including Gloria Romo’s father, who worked for AFD for 27 years.
“You never actually let go or forget, so to see their name there it’s just wonderful. It’s a good feeling,” said Romo.
Romo says seeing the flagpole gives her peace.
The Memorial Flagpole Dedication Ceremony will take place on June 3.
All retired and active duty firefighters and their families are invited. Gutierrez says he’s also invited the chief, the mayor, city councilors, and county commissioners.
Gutierrez says all family members and the public are welcome to visit the flagpole whenever they’d like as well.