(Hartford) - The Hartford Circus Fire Memorial Foundation will commemorate the Sixtieth (60th) anniversary of the tragic Hartford Circus Fire in a groundbreaking ceremony for a memorial to the victims and survivors of the Hartford Circus Fire on Tuesday, July 6, 2004, at 2:00 p.m. behind the Wish School, located at 350 Barbour Street, Hartford.  The school will be open for refreshments.

Invited guests speakers, survivors and members of the Hartford Circus Fire Memorial Foundation Committee will share reflections of this tragedy and their vision for the future.  "The intent of the memorial is to bring us together as a community as we pay homage to the victims, survivors and countless others who were deeply affected by this tragedy sixty years ago," stated Foundation Committee Co-Chairperson Charles Teale, City of Hartford Fire Chief.  "We are certain that the great efforts put forth by the Foundation Committee and its supporters will do justice to one of Hartford's most devastating tragedies."

Fundraising for the memorial began in February of 2003.  Since then, more than $100,000 thousand dollars in private and public funding has been raised for the memorial by the Hartford Circus Fire Memorial Foundation.  The Foundation, started in August of 2002, is Co-Chaired by Hartford Fire Chief Charles Teale and Kathy Spada-Basto.  Don Massey and Rick Davey serve as Treasurers.  Committee members include Ron Basto, William Cieri, Brad David, State Representative Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey, Antonio Matta, City Treasurer Kathleen Palm, Nancy Spada, and former Hartford Fire Chief John B. Stewart, Jr. 

The public can participate in the development of the memorial through purchasing individual bricks which specialized inscriptions for Fifty Dollars each.  Interested parties may contact the Hartford Circus Fire Memorial Foundation at 246-6755, extension 5814, or visit their website at www.hartfordcircusfirememorial.com.

The public is invited to attend the ground breaking ceremony, view a vision of the memorial, and join with others in refreshments after the formal groundbreaking event.  Shuttle buses will be available from the Fire Training Center located behind Hartford Police Headquarters at 50 Jennings Road, Hartford.  For information concerning the event contact Chakara Murray at the Hartford Fire Department, (860) 246-6755, extension 5814.