Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day
“The Hill of Remembrance” and the "Walk of Heroes"
For the past 11 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, 13,723 flags were posted.
Plans for the 2022 Memorial 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 2022, as well.
Guest also got to see the beginning construction of the ‘Walk of Heroes’ brick and the Law Enforcement Eternal Flame project. This expansion project broke ground in October 2020 and will honor those who serve – past and present – for years to come. earn more about the brick project and purchase them here.
2021 Memorial Service
The potential for rain did not discourage the family survivors, law enforcement officers and civilian supporters who attended the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Weekend at the American Police Hall of Fame. The Friday night service featured over 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, Sheriff Mike Chitwood of Volusia County, Patrol Agent in Charge Jerom Linde of the U.S. Border Patrol, Special Agent in Charge Caroline O’Brien-Buster of the U.S. Secret Service, Warden Steven Wellhausen of the Florida Department of Corrections, Captain Kimberly Kilpatrick of the Port Orange Police Department, Pastor Michael Cassera from First Christian Church, Titusville, 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 2020, a 21-gun salute, a horse and caisson processional, and stirring music provided by Pastor Jody Wells, Janna Perez and Sgt. John Martinez.
Family Activity Saturday
On Saturday, the family survivors were treated to a day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for a day of space exploration. The Space Center features exhibits and displays, historic spacecraft and memorabilia, shows, two IMAX theaters, and a range of bus tours of the spaceport. The "Space Shuttle Atlantis" exhibit contains the Atlantis orbiter and the Shuttle Launch Experience, a simulated ride into space. The center also provides astronaut training experiences, including a multi-axial chair and Mars Base simulator.
The families enjoyed a barbecue meal – with plenty of ice cream for dessert - at the Dr. Kurt H. Debus Conference Facility during their visit.
“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 experience the excitement and innovation of space exploration. 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.”
Join us in a special group
You are invited to join our CLOSED Facebook Group specifically for Families of Fallen Officers. Your participation allows us to communicate with the group about activities, resources, and opportunities that are unique to you.
Likewise, you can share your experiences and challenges with those who understand all too well what you are going through. We have several administrators who are part of the group and post comments or questions, but the group is YOURS.
If you are interested in joining the group, just go to our American Police Hall of Fame & Museum Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/APHF911/ and scroll down the menu on the left until you see “Groups.” Select the “Family Survivors of Fallen Law Enforcement Officers” group and ask to join. Our administrators should approve you within 24 hours.