A groundbreaking ceremony Thursday night began the final step towards a national memorial to remember those who have died while saving others.
"This memorial will honor the lives of those who have gone before us," Krista Haugen, a co-founder of Survivor's Network, said. "These are excellent professionals. They are they to decrease morbidity and mortality for folks who are injured or ill across the country.
About 150 friends and family gathered for the ceremony for the Air Medical Memorial and Survivor's Garden.
"The memorial is designed not only to honor those who have been lost but to provide a place of comfort for their family, friends and fellow air medical crewmembers," Haugen said.
Haugen survived an air crash in 2005 while on duty as an EMS nurse and was inspired to create the memorial after losing three friends and fellow crewmembers in a crash.
The ceremony began with a poem that highlighted the purpose of the event; to honor the "selfless providers" who risked and lost their lives while trying to help others.
"We must always learn from, remember, and honor those who have gone before us," Haugen said.
The memorial is located in Littleton and will be the first of its kind in the nation. The memorial will list the names of more than 350 air medical crewmembers who have lost their lives while on duty.
To learn about the memorial or how you can participate in the fundraising efforts visit http://www.airmedicalmemorial.com/.
Lauren Knobbe contributed to this report.
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