Fore more than ten years, family members of fallen Michigan police officers wanted a solution to a simple question.
“How could we go on with our life,” commission member Karen Cole Brown said. “How can we memorialize these men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice?”
That solution was finally realized today with the groundbreaking in Lansing for the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Monument, also known as the Sentinel. It’s the first in the state and will honor nearly six hundred officers killed in the line of duty.
“I hope they realize how many officers do die in the line of duty,” Brown said. “I hope they realize that it’s a thankless job.”
Construction will start this fall in Veterans Memorial Park and they hope to have it done by next year. Many people said they’re surprised it’s taken this long to build a monument to Michigan’s fallen officers.
“The state [monument] was desperately needed,” Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth said. “We were one of a handful of states in the entire country that didn’t have one, and it’s about time.”
“It’s important not only to honor the fallen officers, but to bring public attention to the needs of law enforcement in Michigan,” chairperson John Szczubelek said, “and understand that in very many ways, Michigan law enforcement needs the support of the people of the state of Michigan.”
For those who have lost spouses, children and loved ones the Sentinel is a dream come true.
“Today we break ground,” Brown said, “and we take one step closer to making that dream come true for all of us.”