Alexandria Police Fallen Officers Memorial Breaks Ground
(December 3, 2014) – This fall, family members of fallen Alexandria Police officers officially broke ground on the Alexandria Police Fallen Officers Memorial. Designed by HDR, the memorial will honor the memory of the 18 Alexandria police officers who have died in the line of duty since 1823.
Located in front of the Alexandria Police Department (APD) Headquarters on Wheeler Avenue, the publicly accessible Alexandria Police Fallen Officers Memorial will offer a quiet place of reflection to properly honor the courage, sacrifice, and memory of these officers. Designed as an intimate outdoor space adjacent to the existing plaza, there is no prescribed path through the memorial, allowing each visitor to take their own journey through the space. Every detail has meaning, from the size of the stones to the length of the final dimensions. The memorial is anchored by the wall of reflection—glass panels etched with the names of fallen officers—which will light up at night to symbolize the fallen officers' eternal watch over the city.
Kent Bonner, design principal at HDR's Alexandria office and lead designer for the Fallen Officers Memorial, says of the project, "Rather than a monument commemorating a specific period in time, we wanted to create a space that celebrates life and changes with time. At some point, there may be other officers that join that wall of reflection, so we tried to create a tribute that lives on and continues to pay homage through the years. I hope it brings relief to the surviving families of the fallen officers to finally have a lasting symbol of respect for the sacrifices that they have made."
The Alexandria Police Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting APD officers, led the effort to create the Fallen Officers Memorial. HDR designed the memorial and provided fundraising assistance through a contribution from the HDR Foundation; it will be built by the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. This project extends the relationship of HDR, Whiting-Turner and the APD; the same team also collaborated in the design and construction of the Alexandria Police Department Headquarters, completed in 2011.
Describing the Alexandria office's connection to the project, Kent says, "For us, it was about being good stewards of the community. This memorial is something the Alexandria Police Department has wanted for a long time, and we collectively pushed through the obstacles to make this a reality for them. It's very humbling to be a part of this."
Breaking ground on the memorial this year has special significance for the APD; 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Corporal Charlie Hill and the 50th anniversary of the death of Private Eugene Yoakum. Construction of the memorial will be complete in early spring 2015.