Asheville Fire Department Captain Jeff Bowen, who died in the line of duty while battling a 2011 blaze, was memorialized Aug. 15 with the renaming of a bridge that spans the French Broad River in Asheville.
In a ceremony attended by hundreds, including firefighters from Asheville and many other areas, a sign recognizing the Capt. Jeff Bowen Bridge was unveiled.
“May all who travel across this bridge see Captain Bowen’s name and be reminded of the sacrifices he made for the community he loved,” said Wanda Proffitt, of the NC Board of Transportation.
Proffitt was one of a selection of speakers at the ceremony that included AFD Chief Scott Burnette, NC Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshall Wayne Goodwin, and City of Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy.
“It is fitting and proper that this bridge is going to have the name of somebody who served our community so well,” Bellamy said. “When people see it, they will know that, in this community, we honor our own.”
Commissioner Goodwin pointed to the sacrifice that all firefighters make in service to others and the outpouring of support the surrounding community showed in advocating for the bridge dedication. “So many people came together in the wake of the tragedy,” Goodwin said. “Captain Jeff Bowen is in the hearts and minds of so many today.”
Capt. Bowen’s mother Laurel Bowen, alongside the rest of his family, attended Wednesday’s ceremony. Click below to see Laurel Bowen addressing the crowd at the dedication ceremony.
Click here for a website that is heading up the fundraising effort in support of Capt. Bowen’s family.
Click here for more pictures from the dedication event.