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Visiting the Memorial

Any time of the year, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is a beautiful – and historically significant – place to visit. The Memorial’s walls are filled with law enforcement heroes who, while not always household names, played important roles in U.S. history nonetheless. Officers such as:

  • J.D. Tippit of the Dallas (TX) Police Department, who stopped and was gunned down by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963, just minutes after Oswald had shot President John F. Kennedy. Officer Tippit’s actions helped lead to Oswald’s capture a short time later.

  • James W. Bell, Robert Beckwith, James Carlysle, George Hindman, Robert Olinger and Sheriff William Brady – all murdered between 1878 and 1881 by William H. Bonney, the notorious outlaw known as “Billy the Kid.”

  • The 72 brave men and women who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history.

Learn about these and other law enforcement heroes during your visit to the Memorial. The Memorial is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. There is no charge to visit the Memorial.

Finding Names on the Memorial

The names of the fallen officers are engraved on the Memorial walls each year in random order for the most part. To help visitors find the names of specific officers, directories are placed at each of the four entrance points. The directory lists names in alphabetical order and by state, federal and U.S. territory agencies. Each name is associated with a panel and line number. Panels on the west (W) and east (E) walls are numbered from 1 to 64 (the panel number is engraved at the bottom of each panel). Line 1 is at the top of each panel; count down to locate the line you are looking for. For example, Panel 20-W, Line 16 refers to the 16th line on the 20th panel of the west wall.

Visitors are encouraged to use the paper and pencils provided in the directory stands to do rubbings of fallen officers’ names. The Visitors Center & Store features a number of frames and holders for displaying rubbings done at the Memorial.

About the Lions

Each of the four pathway entrances to the Memorial walls is adorned with a powerful statuary grouping of an adult lion protecting its cubs. Sculpted by Raymond Kaskey, the statues symbolize the protective role of our law enforcement officers and convey the strength, courage and valor that are the hallmarks of those who serve. Each adult lion figure weighs approximately 2,500 pounds.

Tours

  • Self-guided tour. Visitors are encouraged to pick up a Memorial brochure in one of the four directory stands at the site. The brochure includes a fold-out map with a self-guided walking tour of some of the highlights of the Memorial. A Memorial Fund staff member is often on site during regular business hours to help answer questions.

  • Group tour. The Memorial Fund offers free group tours of the Memorial, led by knowledgeable staff or volunteers. Tours can provide both general highlights and information specific to your community or agency. To schedule a group tour, please complete the Group Tour Request Form or call 202-737-3400. Note: group tours are not available on the weekends.

  • Virtual Tour. Take a 360-degree virtual tour of the Memorial.