Guest MINDSETTER™ Dave Kane: Station Fire Memorial Important For All Rhode Islanders

Friday, February 20, 2015


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Artist rendering of proposed Station Fire Memorial Park

February 20, 2015 will mark twelve years since the horrific Station Nightclub fire which caused one hundred people to die and 200 hundred more to be injured. This appalling catastrophe also caused thousands more to experience the crush of debilitating, psychological, and emotional despair.

But, this is not just about the 100 lives taken or the 200 people who were so seriously injured or even the thousands of family members, friends and co-workers who have been devastated by the fourth largest nightclub fire in American history.

You see, the families of the deceased Station Fire victims don’t need this memorial to remember their loved ones.  They have the warm glowing places of remembrance in their hearts and minds.  They have headstones and cemetery plots.  The 200 most injured and scarred survivors of the Station fire don’t need this park to remind them of what they have been through, they have mirrors for that.  

No, the people who most need this park are our children and the generations to follow.  The Station Memorial Park will be a living monument to a life lesson: that if elected officials and those charged with our safety don’t do their jobs, people die.  This monument will serve as an ongoing admonition to young people who may aspire to public service that the decisions they make during their tenure can save lives.  A future Fire Marshall who visits this site or sees it online, will be forewarned about the power they will hold to make the choices that can avoid destruction and death.

When a teenager who plans to study law visits this site they will learn what happens when an unprincipled Attorney General or a connected Judge allows corruption and politics to deny justice to the people they swore to serve and protect.

Yes, this park will be all of that and much more.  It will also be a salute and sincere thank you to the many first responders, fire, police, medical personnel, the councilors and clergy who all came together on that horrible, cold winter night, to do their job by delivering comfort, compassion, and support.

The construction of this Memorial is vitally important not only to the families of the deceased, the survivors and the heroic first responders but to every resident of our state, whose life has been scarred by what can only be described as a nightmare from which we cannot awake.  It is for these reasons and many more that we must contribute whatever we can to assure that the Station Fire Memorial Park becomes a reality.

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Dave Kane is the father of the youngest Station fire victim, 18 year old Nicholas O'Neill. Kane has since become a proponent of fire safety awareness and the enforcement of strict laws for the administration of fire safety inspections on public buildings. He is also a radio talk show host, comedian, performance artist, and author. 


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