Firefighters Justin Monroe, Victor Isler honored with Thursday tribute
The community is invited to a memorial service to honor firefighters Justin Monroe and Victor Isler, who died five years ago Thursday in a fire that destroyed Salisbury Millwork.
The service, which is organized by local firefighters, will be at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Firefighters Memorial, 1400 block of South Main Street.
Isler, who was 40 when he died, and Monroe, who was 19 will be honored in a traditional fire service, said Battalion Chief Chris Kepley.
“Those guys gave everything they had doing their job and serving the city,” Kepley said.
The service will include the ringing of a bell, signifying a firefighter has died in the line of duty.
Kepley said the firefighters continue the memorial as a way to honor the men.
“If you’ve lost somebody, the day they pass you’re always thinking about them that day. You always wonder if ‘anybody remembers them besides me’. I think it’s important that others remember,” she said.
“Even if we weren’t doing a memorial, we would be thinking about them. We are remembering the sacrifice they made and we will be there with their families,” Kepley said.
Even five years later, she said, it’s still hard.
“We still have our jobs to do, but they are still in the back of our minds. We think about it. It’s a fitting thing to do,” Kepley said.
The firefighters will also be remembered Saturday during a benefit skeet shoot and raffle at the Rowan County Wildlife Club. The proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the Justin Monroe Scholarship Fund and the Rowan County Fallen Firefighter Scholarship Fund.
Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and pre-registration is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 704-239-6744. Participants will get 25 targets for $30 when signing up as an individual or sign up as a team of five and pay $125. Lunch is provided for all participants. Prizes will be awarded for the top three teams. Shooters must provide their own ammunition or buy ammunition for $6.50 for a 20-round box. Breakfast, lunch and baked goods will be available for purchase. Raffle tickets are also available for purchase before and during the event. Donations will be accepted.