KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man said he was so disturbed when he saw a memorial for two Kansas City firefighters overgrown with weeds, he had to take action, and now hopes the city will buy the land and keep it up.
Larry Leggio and John Mesh were killed in the line of duty on a Monday night in October while fighting flames at a building on Independence Ave. and Prospect. A wall collapsed on them.
After the investigation into their deaths, the building was demolished and family and friends put up an impromptu memorial, with flags and flowers, to honor Leggio and Mesh.
“Last Friday night I drove by to show some people the site of the tragic fire last October 12th, where we lost two of our heroes of Kansas City. And as I was driving up Independence Avenue from the west my heart just started to grieve. I saw the weeds four or five feet tall and couldn’t see the flowers. I know that the family had put out here a memorial to their fallen husbands,” said Scott Lamaster, founder of Taking It to the Streets, community based non-profit organization.
He called up a friend and the two got to work on Wednesday, using weed eaters and muscle and sweat to clear away the weeds and debris. They also added a fence and a bench.
“We decided to come clean this up make it a memorial which it should be to give back honor and respect to the two men that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our city,” Lamaster said.
Taking It to the Streets helps the community in other ways such as feeding the homeless, providing aid for first-responders who have been on a scene for a long time, disaster relief and they also have a group in Central America meeting needs there.
Lamaster hopes the city will step up and buy the property and perhaps make it a park to restore the ‘depressed area.’