Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

This post continues my series looking at memorials I researched for my MFA thesis. This one is
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. All quotes are from the website, but all photographs are mine:
"It honors all of America's federal, state and local law enforcers. Inscribed on the Memorial's blue-gray marble walls are the names of more than 18,600 officers who have been killed in the line of duty, dating back to the first known death in 1792."

"Designed by Washington, DC architect Davis Buckley, the Memorial sits on three acres of federal park land called Judiciary Square. The site has served for over 200 years as the seat of our nation's judicial branch of government. A glance around the space finds plush carpets of grass, nearly 60,000 plants and 128 trees decorating the Memorial grounds. Each year, around the first of April, some 14,000 daffodils make the Memorial one of Washington's most spectacular attractions."

"Bordering the Memorial's beautifully landscaped park are two tree-lined "pathways of remembrance" where the names of the fallen officers are engraved."

"The names of the fallen officers are displayed in random order on the Memorial Wall. At an annual candlelight vigil held each year during National Police Week (in May) new names of fallen officers are added to the Memorial."

"Each of the pathway entrances is adorned with a powerful statuary grouping of an adult lion protecting its cubs. The bronze statues were sculpted by Raymond Kaskey. They symbolize the protective role of our law officers and convey the strength, courage and valor that are the hallmarks of those who serve in law enforcement."
(I didn't think the lions were "powerful" - in fact I think they're a bit cheesy, and the symbolism is heavy handed.)

"Under each of the lion statues are inspiring quotes that capture the spirit of the Memorial and the heroic men and women it recognizes"

"In valor there is hope."

"It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived."
- Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion."
- Proverbs 28:1

"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

This is a rubbing I took of the above section:

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