During Forest Park’s 108-year-history, four civil servants — three police officers and one firefighter — have died while serving the community. Mayor Anthony Calderone, at the village council’s Aug. 24 meeting, announced plans to dedicate a memorial in honor of those four individuals at the newly named Remembrance Park, Randolph Street and Circle Avenue.
The Sept. 19 ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and will include remarks from the mayor as well as representatives from the village’s police and fire departments. Family members of the individuals being honored are expected to be in attendance.
About 18 months ago, two Forest Park police officers, Yung Lee and Francis Lane, approached Mayor Calderone with the idea for a memorial. With the mayor’s support, the project continued to develop and soon a public fundraising campaign, with a goal of around $8,000, materialized.
According to Calderone, the village exceeded that target, collecting about $12,000. He told the Review about $9,000 will go toward erecting the memorial, with the remaining funds set aside in a “special fund that was created for this memorial.”
“I continue to be overwhelmed by the support of the community whenever there is a need, residents and business owners alike come together when a good cause arises,” Calderone told the Review in an email.
The Forest Park Recreation Board, a municipal entity tasked with overseeing the maintenance and administration of the community’s small parks, recommended the site at Randolph Street and Circle Avenue. Calderone said the site is a fitting choice because it was previously occupied by the community’s first village hall and it is where Forest Park’s time capsule is buried.
Asked about the importance of the memorial, Calderone responded, “The men and women who serve in our police and fire departments take an oath to serve and protect, to be ready, willing and able to place themselves in harm’s way. I believe this to be very important because they are the ones running in when others are running out.”
The memorial’s monument, which will be installed a few days before the ceremony, will occupy the southeast corner of the park atop a small hill. According to Calderone, no other park features will be altered.
The four being honored on Saturday are:
Police Officer Edward Pflaume (died on Dec. 13, 1925)
Police Lieutenant Herman Ziebell (died on Sept. 30, 1946)
Fire Captain Frank Schnurstein (died on March 29, 1969)
Police Officer Michael Caulfield (died on Sept. 30, 1982)