October 12, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
From Sparta to Bell Buckle, motorcycle bikers will set out on a journey Saturday morning, October 16 to raise funds and honor Tennessee Firefighters who have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty while protecting citizens.
Bikers in the 8th annual Shady Brady Tennessee Fallen Firefighter Memorial ride will pass through Smithville on Highway 70 from Sparta and then onto Highway 56 south toward McMinnville enroute to Bell Buckle on the campus of the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy where the memorial is located. The riders will be passing thru Smithville around 9:15 a.m. and the Smithville Fire Department will set up in the Food Lion parking lot to raise a Flag and show support as they pass. Everyone is welcome to join the firefighters in greeting the bikers Saturday morning.
This ride was first organized by Sparta firefighter Barry Brady to raise money for the Tennessee Fallen Firefighter Memorial. It continues today as a tribute to Barry (now deceased) and the many others that work year around to support the memorial. Anyone can enter or at least come out and support them along their route.
For more information call Bradley Johnson at 615-967-6557, Kayla Williams at 615-948-7508, or Kenny Kilgore at 931-200-7380.
Beginning in 2002, the first Tennessee Fallen Firefighter Memorial Committee was founded with a mission to create a memorial to honor fallen firefighters in Tennessee. After earning its 501©3 not-for-profit status, the board of directors began to actively raise funds to build the memorial.
In 2005, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a resolution, which dedicated land on the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy property to be used for constructing a memorial.
Fundraising efforts began with the TUFF Challenge and by selling bricks in support of the memorial.
Construction of the memorial was broken up into two phases. The official ribbon cutting ceremony for phase one was held Sept. 11, 2009. Dedication of the completion of the second phase was held on Sept. 10, 2011.
The Tennessee Fallen Firefighter Memorial honors the fallen firefighters of Tennessee. Additionally, a section was added to the memorial that pays tribute to the lives lost during the terrorist attacks that occurred Sept. 11, 2001. As part of that memorial, a piece of a steel I-beam, which was recovered from “Ground Zero” in New York City, is also on display.