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Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Memorial


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National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at 25

October 2016 American Police Beat

This October, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. When the Memorial was dedicated, it included the names of 12,664 fallen officers. Today, the Memorial bears the names of 20,789 federal, state, and local officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities.

Former President George H.W. Bush officially dedicated the Memorial on October 15, 1991. A phrase from his groundbreaking ceremony speech at the Memorial is engraved in the southwest corner under a beautiful lion statue:

“Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream.”

Designed by architect Davis Buckley, the Memorial sits on three acres of federal park land in an area of Washington, DC called Judiciary Square, the historic seat of our nation’s judicial branch of government.

Bordering the Memorial’s beautifully landscaped park are the two tree-lined "pathways of remembrance" where the names of the fallen officers are engraved. Each of the pathway entrances is adorned with a powerful statuary grouping of an adult lion protecting its cubs. Sculpted by Raymond Kaskey, the bronze statues symbolize the protective role of law enforcement officers and convey the strength, courage and valor that are hallmarks of those who serve and protect.

As the Memorial celebrates 25 years of honoring law enforcement—especially our fallen heroes—we are continually reminded of Vivian Eney’s quote engraved on the northwest corner: “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived."