For the past 9 years the Police Hall of Fame has utilized a beautiful visual image to aid in remembering fallen heroes. This image came to be called “The Hill of Remembrance”. Each year flags are posted on the hillside out front of the Hall of Fame in honor of each family survivor currently in Hall of Fame programs. This past May, during Police Week, 12,823 flags were posted.
Plans for the 2020 Memorial – the 60th anniversary of the American Police Hall of Fame – are already in the early stages, and the facility is anticipating that the new Eternal Flame and Walk of Heroes will be well under way by May 2020, as well.
Sunshine and brilliant blue skies greeted the family survivors, law enforcement officers and civilian supporters who attended the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Weekend at the American Police Hall of Fame last week. The Friday night service featured almost 500 family survivors who toured the facility before participating in the ceremony honoring their fallen heroes. Other participants included Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, who served as emcee for the solemn and emotional event, Titusville Police Chief John Lau, Sheriff Mike Chitwood of Volusia County, Chief Jack Rinchich, President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and Captain Brian Smith, President of the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens.
The celebration of courage and sacrifice included multiple agency honor guard units, the Brevard Police & Fire Pipe and Drums Band, a roll call of those lost in the line of duty in 2018, a 21-gun salute, a horse and caisson processional, and stirring music provided by Greg Galbreath, Janna Ivey and Sgt. John Martinez.
Registration for the 2020 Law Enforcement Memorial Weekend will start in early December.
On Saturday, the family survivors were bussed to Fort Christmas Park and to the Orlando Wetlands for a day of Florida history and natural beauty. The families toured historic cabins at Fort Christmas and watched re-enactors and crafters present slices of life from Florida’s past. Musical groups also created a festively historic atmosphere. The families enjoyed a tented barbecue meal on site before taking a short bus ride to the nearby Orlando Wetlands for a close-up view (via golf cart tour) of exotic birds, alligators and other wetland creatures.
“The day was perfect. Although it was warm and sunny, there was plenty of shade and a comfortable breeze,” said Lori Shepherd, Director of Family Survivor Fund. “I think everyone enjoyed the opportunity to touch Florida’s history and to see the beauty of our wetlands. And, as always, the survivor families cherish the opportunity to spend time together and share joy for a change, instead of grief. That is our goal each year, after the intensity of our Friday night service.”
Capt. Brian C. Smith, (Ret.)
Chicago Heights, IL
Executive Vice President
Deputy Peter J. Kolovos
Des Plaines, IL
Sergeant At Arms
August J. Scott
Richard G. Abrams
New Haven, CT
The American Federation of Police & Concerned Citizens (AFP&CC) offers a number of programs and services that support the law enforcement community and specifically the surviving families of officers killed in the line of duty.