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The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial honors fallen peace officers by permanently recording and commemorating their service and sacrifice.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is centered in the 400 block of E Street, NW, Washington, DC and is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.
The Memorial features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 21,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1786. Unlike many other memorials in Washington, DC, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is ever-changing: new names of fallen officers are added to the monument each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week.
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. The Memorial grounds boast plush carpets of grass, nearly 60,000 plants and 128 trees. Each April, more than 10,000 daffodils bloom at the site, providing a burst of color for visitors. The Memorial’s central plaza features an intricate paving pattern and a bronze medallion with the Memorial Fund logo: a blue shield with a red rose draped across it.
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.
A number of commemorative ceremonies are held at the Memorial each year, and the site is visited by nearly a quarter million people annually. The Memorial’s beauty and tranquility make it a special place for reflection, contemplation or just a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
“It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.”
Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor
“In valor there is hope.”
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
“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.”
President George H.W. Bush