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Impressive Houston Police Officer's Memorial

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Hallowed Grounds of the Houston Police Officer's Memorial

Hallowed Grounds of the Houston Police Officer's Memorial

Houston Police Officer's Memorial

My husband and I have been driving past this memorial for many years, and for a long time, we did not even realize what the significance of it was. One day we decided to stop and take a closer look at it.

This photo above pretty much shows what one would see from driving by on Memorial Drive. We stopped in the parking lot near the memorial and snapped this photo from above.

Annual Ceremony

Every year, there is a ceremony at this striking memorial dedicated to those police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Police officers who ride horses, motorcycles, bicycles, and patrol cars line up in a formal service to honor those who have died. Accompanying the officers are family members as well as those from the community who also wish to pay their respects. This video below shows some of what transpires each year.

Origins

The idea of honoring our brave men and women in blue with a dedicated memorial originated back in the 1980s. Fundraising began in 1985 with significant foundations and individuals writing checks. The land surrounding the Police Officer's Memorial was donated by Charles and Beth Miller.

Opening of the Memorial

This granite sculpture memorial opened to the public in 1991. It is guarded 24 hours a day by off-duty police officers donating their precious time in 4-hour shifts.

The video below shows the area near the parking lot off of Memorial Drive. It also shows the memorial in the grassy lawn area and surrounding Houston views from an aerial perspective. One gets a real perspective of what the artist accomplished by looking at it from above.

Those Honored at This Memorial

Sadly, 115 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty at the time of this posting. This number will undoubtedly grow over time. Seventy of them to date have been from gunfire. Vehicular assault accounts for eleven of those lives. Other things, such as motorcycle accidents, stabbings, and automobile accidents, have also taken precious lives.

We owe so much to these brave men and women who put on police officers' uniforms. They risk their lives daily to help the rest of us stay safe and protected from harm.

The Design

A well-known artist by the name of Jesus Bautista Moroles was hired to design and create this memorial to fallen Houston police officers. The cost, when completed, was $630,000.

This 120-foot by 120-foot monument is done in a stepped-pyramid fashion replicating a Greek Cross design. The central part of it is raised up 12 1/2 feet in height. The below-ground pyramidal sections fanning out from the raised point are 12 feet in depth. Stairs are provided for people to go up or down in the monument.

This design stemmed from the ancient past when ziggurats like this were built. Often they were constructed as shrines. So this is a genuinely appropriate motif resurrected from the past to honor modern-day heroes.

Looking down at one of the four sides of the monument from above.

Looking down at one of the four sides of the monument from above.

Everyday Use

Every time we have driven past this police memorial, we have seen people enjoying themselves on the vast expanse of lawn. Sometimes they are flying kites or throwing frisbees or balls back and forth.

One can always see people walking up or down the steps of the pyramid. At first, I honestly thought it was a bit disrespectful. But I found out that at the very top of the monument is a small indentation. It serves as a reflection pool if we have had recent rains. So obviously, it is fine to be exploring all the different levels of the police officer's memorial. The artist undoubtedly intended that from the start.

Girl at the top of the monument

Girl at the top of the monument

Setting

The setting for this memorial is in a part of the 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park. Hike and bike trails make this a wonderful park to get around. The bridge pictured below leads from trails through the park to the granite monument.

People wishing to visit the Houston Police Officer's Monument can also access it if driving by securing one of the parking spaces at the top.

Bridge over Buffalo Bayou leading to and from the Houston Police Officers' Memorial

Bridge over Buffalo Bayou leading to and from the Houston Police Officers' Memorial

Hours

The posted hours for visiting this memorial location are 6 am to 11 pm daily.

It is good that a city the size of Houston has such a monument. It is sad, on the one hand, that any police officer has to die in the line of duty. Given the fact that some of them do, however, it gives one pause to respect the jobs that are done every day on our behalf.

May they rest in eternal peace.

"The Policeman's Prayer"

This was authored by retired Thibodaux, La., Police Chief Scott Silverii, PhD. The source is from inspirational police quotes, and is listed below.

The Final Inspection

The policeman stood and faced his God. Which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, policeman. How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek? To My church have you been true?”

The policeman squared his shoulders and said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t. Because those of us who carry badges can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays, and at times my talk was rough; and sometimes I’ve been violent, because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny that wasn’t mine to keep…though I’ve worked a lot of overtime when the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear; and sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here. They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.

If you’ve a place for me here, Lord, it needn’t be so grand. I never expected or had too much, but if you don’t…I’ll understand.”

There was silence all around the throne where the saints had often trod. As the policeman waited quietly for the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, policeman, you’ve borne your burdens well. Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets, you’ve done your time in hell.”

Houston Police Officers' Memorial

Houston Police Officers' Memorial

Sources

Houston Police Officers' Memorial and downtown buildings in background

Houston Police Officers' Memorial and downtown buildings in background

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 19, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

I agree that it is sad a memorial has to exist for this very reason. But we do need to honor our fallen officers. They sacrifice much to protect each of us daily when on duty to protect us from harm.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 17, 2020:

It’s sad that this memorial is necessary in that they lost their lives in the line of duty, but this memorial is a fitting tribute to their heroic community service.

Robert Sacchi on February 23, 2020:

Very good.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 23, 2020:

Hi Robert,

If you like this, stay tuned! There is more to come!

Robert Sacchi on February 23, 2020:

It is a great idea you had of writing Hubs about these local parks and memorials.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 22, 2020:

Hi Robert,

I have to admit that we did that for years. Once we stopped and explored this sculptural and beautiful memorial, it has taken on so much more meaning for us.

Robert Sacchi on February 22, 2020:

Thank you for posting the article and pictures. People often go past memorials and other places without appreciating what they are passing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

It is so sad when a police officer is killed. Sometimes they are targeted because of wearing a uniform. So happy to know that you liked this article, Pamela.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2020:

Hi Donna,

Thanks for reading and commenting on not only the police memorial but also the poem. I thought that it was beautiful as well.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 21, 2020:

I love that Houston has this wonderful memorial for the police. I hate turning on the news and seeing that another officer has been killed. The poem is beautiful but I don't think any tears they may shed are unmanly. This is a wonderful article, Peggy.

Donna Rayne from Greenwood, In on February 21, 2020:

Ms. Peggy, this article is so awesome and rewarding to read and the poem is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us, it is a very special place and beautiful!

God bless you,

Donna Rayne

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2020:

Hello Blue Barry,

I am pleased that you appreciated this post.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

I also thought that "The Policemen's Prayer" was very poignant. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, that figure worldwide would surely be staggering!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 21, 2020:

The Policemen's Prayer struck a sad cord, so simple, yet tender and loving. Your display of the memorial is beautiful. God Bless all policemen who fight to keep us safe. Thanks again for sharing.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 21, 2020:

You have given a thorough account of this memorial. It is very sad to remember how many people lose their lives whilst upholding law and order. It would be staggering to add up the global figures.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2020:

Hi Bill,

This memorial in Houston honors those police officers who have lost their lives. It is a sober reminder of just how dangerous a job it can be at times. Thanks for your comment.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 21, 2020:

You are a fountain of Houston knowledge, and I love the idea of a police office memorial. Well done, Houston!