The ties that bind us to the 2017 wildfires

An emotional wildfire memorial dedication ceremony took place at the River Valley Pioneer Museum on Tuesday, with a crowd of approximately 70 people in attendance, many of whom were affected by the devastating March 6 wildfires, were part of the response teams, or served as volunteers.

The originator of the project, Hemphill County Judge George Briant, told the story of how it came about—the creation of a sculpture to memorialize the event. He began by acknowledging the relief efforts that were put into place “before the fire ever crossed Highway 83,” and continued for weeks and months. “Thanks be to you,” he said.

“I knew immediately who I wanted to be involved in putting this together,” Briant said. He asked Doug Ricketts if he and his wife would like to join with him and Beth in giving something to the community to remind them, not only of the fire, but of all those people who were so generous and gave of their time and their resources.

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