I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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