While attending the 5th Anniversary of the IAFF Memorial in Colorado Springs, Daniel A. Terry, then president of California Professional Firefighters, reflected upon the many names of California firefighters engraved on the wall. The driving vision behind the California Firefighters Memorial was born. 



CPF-sponsored legislation (AB 3198 by Assemblymember Rusty Areias) establishes the California Firefighters Memorial site on the grounds of the State Capitol in Sacramento. The legislation stipulated that the construction and maintenance of the Memorial would come from private funding.



After additional legislation was passed, the California Firefighter license plate program was established. The program dedicated a portion of the proceeds from each California Firefighter license plate sale to the California Fire Foundation, CPF’s nonprofit charitable foundation that is the fund raising vehicle for the Memorial. 


On May 31, 1995, Governor Pete Wilson joins hundreds of firefighters, family members and friends in formally dedicating a site in the heart of historic Capitol Park. Redlands Fire Chief Mel Enslow, whose only son, Kenny, was killed while battling a wildfire just days after his 20th birthday, spoke about what the Memorial means to him. 



In the grand tradition of honoring fallen colleagues, the Pipes and Drums of California Professional Firefighters was created to perform at memorial services honoring firefighters who have died in the line of duty. The band gave its inaugural performance a year later at CPF’s 37th convention. 



On April 6, 2002, more than 2,000 uniformed California firefighters and members of the U.S. Forest Service marched in a solemn procession through Capitol Park for the formal unveiling of the California Firefighters Memorial. A historic day for California, the unveiling is attended by then-Governor Gray Davis, California’s Constitutional Officers and members of the Legislature.  



To help make the dream of a higher education possible for the children of fallen firefighters, the California Fire Foundation establishes the California Firefighters Endowment, which seeks to raise $2 million and increase the award for the Daniel A. Terry Scholarship program to $10,000 per child, forever. 



Gathering the evening before for a solemn vigil, thousands of firefighters, family members of the fallen and dignitaries come together in Capitol Park to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the California Firefighters Memorial. 



To ensure that the names of fallen can be added to the California Firefighters Memorial Wall for decades to come, CPF sponsors Assembly Bill 1980 (Jacqui Irwin) which will allow the memorial to continue to properly honor those who fall in the line of duty.