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Cranes of Hope Honor Fallen First Responders

The STL Crane Project papered Art Hill with 1,000 cranes Sunday morning.

Fifty-three years, 133 names and 1,000 cranes. 

On Sunday, the STL Crane Project honored the 133 area first responders killed in the line of duty over the past 53 years with 1,000 paper cranes. The ceremony was from taking place on Saturday.

To see a full gallery of the STL Crane Project ceremony, visit University City Patch's Facebook gallery

Susan King, the widow of University City Sgt. Michael King, opened the ceremony by talking about the origins of the project. A Japanese girl in the 1950s stricken with leukemia made 1,000 origami cranes to receive a prayerful wish.

"Today, we remember and honor the dedication of these remarkable men and women," she said. "And with these cranes, we make our prayerful wish that we never have to add another name to this list."

The ceremony honored the fallen by reading the names and affiliation of each first responder. The dignitaries on hand to read the names were never introduced or identified—they stood up, read the names and sat back down.

Those reading the names included Rep. Russ Carnahan, Attorney General Chris Koster, County Executive Charlie Dooley, University City Council member Terry Crow and representatives from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police and St. Louis Fire Department. Jill McGuire of the also participated.

The cranes will be sold for $10 to raise money for The Backstoppers, an organization that provides financial assistance to the families of St. Louis area first responders killed in the line of duty.

 has four names on the list. They are:

  • Sgt. Michael King — Oct. 31, 2008
  • Francis Graham — Feb. 22, 1976
  • James Boevingloh — Jan. 23, 1970
  • William Downey — Dec. 12, 1969
Lotus108 August 06, 2012 at 11:09 AM
I haven't heard it mentioned anywhere... do the cranes remain on display on Art Hill for a period of time? And if so, what is the plan for when it rains? I know it's unlikely these days, but since they're made of paper and intended to be sold, I was just wondering.
Byron Sletten August 06, 2012 at 12:29 PM
No they were removed and are available for a $10 donation. Please check out the website for details. http://www.stlcraneprojwct.com

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