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On Saturday, February 1, 2014, Firefighter Steven Murphy represented the Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) in selecting the artwork that will serve as a centerpiece for the city’s proposed Heroes ParkHeroes Park, which will be located in the vicinity of the current Veteran’s Park behind the Lakeland Center, is intended to serve as a memorial for military, fire-rescue, and law enforcement personnel.

FF Murphy served as a judge along with representatives from the Lakeland Police Department, Veteran’s Affairs, and the artist who will bring the rendering to life. The submissions were created by Polk County School’s students and the judging of the submission was arranged by City Commissioner Don Selvage, who is chairing the effort to have the park dedicated in honor of Lakeland’s heroes.


“As a collective group, we analyzed each miniature sculpture the young artist composed. Each of us had different mindsets on what we liked, but a common theme throughout was us wanting to select a piece that would embody police, fire, and military in the sculpture and not just one group. We narrowed the field down to six and chose a winner from there. The winning sculpture is going to be three individual sheets of steel standing vertical in line with one another. One piece of steel has a child, the next a couple embracing, and lastly an adult service person. The pieces of steel will be cut and positioned so you can see the child and couple through the silhouette of the service person. It is a very interesting three dimensional piece that shows respect for all facets of honorable service.” explained Firefighter Murphy in reference to how the selection was made.


Lakeland Fire Department representatives plan to be involved throughout the entire planning process to provide input from a firefighter’s perspective.