Monument honoring first responders unveiled in Charlotte County park

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Matthew Seaver

A new monument is up to honor all those who work on the front lines. The first responders memorial shines in all its glory at the Veterans Memorial Park in Port Charlotte.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. That is how lots of people describe first responders. But how do first responders describe themselves? They’re just doing their job.

“We get a lot of people that tell us how much they appreciate our service. And we don’t do it for that. But it’s nice to hear it once in a while. So this is just like I said, a great honor,” said Punta Gorda Police Chief Pam Davis.

They don’t do it for the recognition, but that is exactly what they got on Wednesday.

First responders from agencies throughout Charlotte County are honored in the new memorial at William R. Gaines Jr. Veterans Memorial Park.

COVID-19 has tested our police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, and paramedics for the last couple of years.

Davis said this memorial couldn’t come at a more comforting time. “There’s times like this morning. A couple of us were on the scene there and we didn’t have time to throw any masks on and things like that. So you don’t know really what you’re running into. But we’re going to do the job regardless.”

Bryan Carr, Deputy Chief of Charlotte County Fire & EMS, said, “it’s been a lot of a lot of stressors, a lot of mental health that we’re looking at.”

With this memorial putting them on the same pedestal as those who’ve died fighting for our country, WINK News asked them what kind of weight that carries.

“It’s hard to even be on that same pedestal, I don’t really feel that way at all. I, they’re, they’re the ones that keep our country free,” said Davis.

Chief Davis may not feel that way, but it’s clear Charlotte County does. The memorials are part of a larger effort to upgrade and improve the entire park in Port Charlotte.

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