Public Safety Memorial Dedication Ceremony
On a beautiful day and with Lake Placid as a natural backdrop, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and Fire Chief Richard Bowers welcomed attendees at the April 20 dedication ceremony for the county’s new Public Safety Memorial at 100 Edison Park Drive.
“Every public safety employee in Montgomery County, past and present, can feel a personal connection to this memorial. We are all so grateful to everyone who helped make this a reality,” Manger said.
“We are here today to honor and remember the 30 valiant members of our public safety family who devoted their lives to serve and protect…and because they accepted the challenges of that calling…lost their lives,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “We also pay tribute to all of our public safety personnel, who by taking an oath of public service, vow to defend the safety and rights of us all…even it that means making the ultimate sacrifice.”
Speaking at the ceremony along with Leggett, Bowers and Manger were: U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), County Council President Roger Berliner, the Director of the Upcounty Regional Services Center Catherine Matthews, representing the Public Safety Memorial Steering Committee Steven A. Robins, Esq., representing the family and friends of the fallen heroes, Mrs. Fran Daly and Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Director Arthur Wallenstein.
Also attending the ceremony were Sheriff Darren Popkin; Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division Chief Darien Manley; families and friends of fallen heroes; members of the public safety community and interested community members.
Fire Chief Bowers said: “As we honor these fallen officers, who were taken from us far too soon, let this memorial reflect our pledge to always remember their courageous actions.”
The memorial was designed by artist Ted Clausen of Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mission was to create a memorial which honored each of the County’s public safety departments and also reflected their vital relationship to each other. The memorial is entered by a pathway flanked by two stone pillars. “I designed this work to be a journey, leaving the public bustle of our everyday lives and moving toward the peace and introspection of the memorial space,” said Clausen. On the left side of the pathway are a 12 by 18-foot American flag, and 10 by 15-foot state, county, and memorial agency flags.
The circular memorial site is defined by five separate granite memorial stones, one for each county agency, arranged in a star-like pattern. One side of the stones feature engraved comments from officers about the work they do and their interdependence with the other agencies. On the other face of the stones are engraved quotes from community members expressing their appreciation for the public safety agencies. On the top polished surface of the stones are the names of the fallen officers: 16 County Police Officers, 12 Firefighters, one Deputy Sheriff and one Park Police Officer. An engraved paving circle surrounds the site which also features a low bench to allow visitors to sit and reflect.
Photo | Phil Fabrizio