Reflections on the New Fort Worth Police & Firefighters Memorial

By Craig W. Floyd

Chairman & CEO

“We do two things very well in Fort Worth,” declared Mayor Mike Moncrief. “When we are proud of something, we take ownership. But, when we’re not proud of something, we take responsibility. We’re not proud that a year ago at this time, we were the largest city in the country without a memorial to honor our fallen. As of today, that is no longer the case.”

More than 1,000 law enforcement officers, firefighters, survivors of the fallen and other dignitaries and citizen supporters, including this writer, joined Mayor Moncrief on June 5, 2009, for the official dedication of the Fort Worth Police & Firefighters Memorial. The $1.2 million monument was funded by private donations and was 20 years in the making. The project suffered a number of fits and starts, but Mayor Moncrief credited his wife, Rosie, for helping him and the Fort Worth Police & Firefighters Memorial Board of Directors (co-chaired by Bob Kolba and John Stevenson) to “move this monument from just a drawing on a piece of paper to a reality.”

The Memorial, one of the largest in the country, sits on five acres in a serene slice of Fort Worth called Trinity Park. It is highlighted by a statue consisting of a saddled riderless horse with boots turned backward in the stirrup, symbolizing a missing comrade, led by a law officer on one side and a firefighter on the other. Behind the statue is a black wall of granite, inscribed with the names of Fort Worth’s 95 public safety officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, including three deputy marshals, 55 police officers and 37 firefighters

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Mayor Moncrief described the Memorial as “a place of contemplation . . . a place to mourn . . . a place to honor . . . and a place to rejoice in a life well-lived.”

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Originally published in American Police Beat, September 2009