Memorial Construction Commences
Governor McAuliffe joined members of his cabinet and the VPSF Board of Directors to mark the start of construction at the memorial site on July 22, 2014.
Governors Terry McAuliffe, Bob McDonnell and Tim Kaine broke ground at the memorial site on January 3, 2014.
"Mike mentioned to me that if he ever died in the line of duty, he wanted to be certain that the actions he took were not in vain; that they be utilized in a positive way to prevent other tragedies; and, most of all, that his story not be forgotten. We want our shared sacrifice to be remembered as an example of the importance of our public safety officers. Building this memorial of engraved names is one step toward meeting his request, which is why I’m supporting the Memorial Fund."
Wife of Fairfax County Police Officer Michael Garbarino
A Monument to Virginia Heroes
ROSTER OF HEROES
The Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial honors 870 Virginians who died in public safety service to their community. They are the pride of Virginia. The memorial acknowledges them with an engraving of their name, ensuring that their memory is never forgotten and providing a place where their families and colleagues can gather to remember them.
The standard for inclusion at the memorial is Virginia's Line of Duty Act. You may download an overview of criteria here. To submit a name for inclusion at the memorial, please download and complete an application form, which must be signed by the appropriate agency director or chief, and submit it to the VPSF.
THE MEMORIAL AND VPSF
Building a monument to Virginia's public safety officers has been a decade-long campaign. In 2005, the Virginia General Assembly passed a joint resolution calling on the Governor to form a commission to study the need for a memorial honoring first responders. Two years later, Governor Tim Kaine appointed the first Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial Commission, which selected a location at Darden Garden near Virginia's Capitol Square and executed a nationwide search for a memorial design.
In late 2009, prior to leaving office, Governor Kaine selected VPSF to serve as the memorial's administrator because the effort needed a non-profit partner to raise funding and because VPSF's mission of service to all branches of public safety made it a logical partnership.
Throughout 2010 and 2011, VPSF worked with Governor Bob McDonnell, his administration, and the memorial commission to prepare for a capital campaign to secure the $2 million in private funding necessary to build the memorial. Now-Governor Terry McAuliffe and former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore were appointed to lead the Memorial Fund as co-chairmen. Included in this preparatory work was careful research to compile a comprehensive roster of names of men and women who died in the line of duty (which resulted in 500 additional names added to the roter) and a determination that the memorial design selected in 2009 would not accommodate the total number of names.
In 2012, VPSF contracted to develop a new memorial design, which was unveiled in May of that year at a series of events held across Virginia marking the start of the public phase of the capital campaign.
Throughout 2012 and 2013, VPSF worked to secure more than $2 million in funding from Virginia businesses, public safety agencies and individual donors.
On July 9, 2014, VPSF announced that construction of the memorial will commence on July 21 and be completed in November 2014.
On December 6, 2014, VPSF dedicated the memorial and presented to Governor Terry McAuliffe its deed, officially transfering ownership to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
THE MEMORIAL DESIGN
The Memorial is located in a 150ft x 40ft area in front of the Patrick Henry Building. On the North side of the Memorial, a wall of names runs east/west, slightly elevated from the plaza, a subtle gesture that begins to create a more private space to experience the name of a loved one. A wide walkway runs adjacent to the memorial wall. Along the south side of the walkway is a low water feature that allows for a visual connection to the Capitol. The space and sound of the water maintains the individual’s privacy to contemplate the name on the wall. A bench along the fountain allows one to experience the entire wall of names, acknowledging as a group those who have sacrificed their lives to protect citizens of the Commonwealth.
SUPPORT THE MEMORIAL FUND
Your support to endow the memorial's perpetual maintenance, including the annual addition of engraved names, is important.
There are a number of ways to support the Memorial Fund.
Attend a VPSF fundraising event in your community. Check our events calendar on the homepage for more information.
Purchase an engraved brick at the memorial site. Download an order form and standards.
Purchase a VPSF Memorial challenge coin. These coins have become popular collectors' items in public safety agencies across Virginia. This year's 4th edition includes an image of the memorial and badges representing the different branches of public safety service. Click here for more information.