Posts Tagged ‘Davis Buckley’


The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

Designated by President John F. Kennedy to be observed annually on May 15th, tomorrow is Peace Officers Memorial Day.  The Presidential proclamation also designates the week during which that date falls each year as National Police Week.  So in observance of this, today I rode by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which is located in 400 block of E Street (MAP) in northwest D.C.’s Judiciary Square neighborhood.

Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial honors Federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, making the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people. It features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls on which are carved the names of the officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death of Constable Darius Quimby of the Albany County, New York, Constable’s Office, who was shot while making an arrest on January 3, 1791

Designed by architect Davis Buckley, the Memorial features a reflecting pool which is surrounded by walkways on either side of a three-acre park. Along the walkways are the walls on which are inscribed the names of the fallen law enforcement officers which the Memorial honors.

The Memorial also features four bronze sculptures depicting two male and two female lions, with each watching over a pair of lion cubs. The adult lions were sculpted by Raymond Kaskey, the cubs by George Carr. Below each lion is carved a different quotation, which read: “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.” – Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor; “In valor there is hope.” – Tacitus; “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” – Proverbs 28:1, and; a quote by President George H. W. Bush, which reads, “Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream.”

Unlike many of the other memorials in the city, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is ever-changing. That is because new names of fallen officers are added to the monument each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week. At the time it was dedicated, the names of over 12,000 fallen officers were engraved on the Memorial’s walls. Currently, there are 20,267 names on the Memorial, which in addition to local law enforcement officers also includes 1,092 Federal officers, as well as 633 correctional officers and 34 military law enforcement officers. These numbers include 280 female officers. There will be 117 more names being added to honor the officers who died in the line of duty in 2014. Sadly, this is a nine percent increase from 2013, when 107 officers were killed.

Although the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial sits on Federal land, it was constructed and is maintained with private funds, not taxpayer dollars. To learn even more about the memorial and the organization that maintains it, please visit the web site for The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  And since the fund relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to maintain the memorial and carry out the work of honoring and remembering our countey’s law enforcement heroes, please consider making a donation.

Please also take a moment before the end of National Police Week to remember all of the Federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation, as well as the more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers currently serving throughout this country.

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[Click on the thumbnails above to view the full size photos]
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The Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II

The Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II

The Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II is a memorial and monument designed by Davis Buckley and Japanese American artist Nina Akamu. It is located near Union Station and across from Upper Senate Park, at the intersection of Louisiana Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and D Street (MAP) in northwest D.C.’s Downtown East neighborhood. And it was the destination of this bike ride.

The concept for the memorial began with The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation in 1988, and legislative approval for the construction of the memorial and sculpture was passed by Congress four years later.  Groundbreaking for the memorial did not begin for another seven years. The Memorial was finally dedicated in November of 2000.

The memorial commemorates Japanese-American involvement, service and patriotism during World War II, as well as those held in Japanese-American internment camps during that time. More than 33,000 Japanese-Americans rose above adversity to serve in the military with distinction. Many did so as members of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team fighting up the rugged Italian Peninsula and across Southern France. Others were members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the Military Intelligence Service, or other units. They interrogated Japanese prisoners and translated Japanese documents in the Pacific and China-Burma-India Theaters. Over eight hundred of these loyal Japanese-Americans were killed in action serving their country.

They served despite the great irony of the U.S.’s forced confinement of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry, many the service members’ families, who were held during the war in camps that often were isolated, uncomfortable, and overcrowded. With less than two weeks notice, and without trials, the U.S. Government forced these Americans of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes and businesses, abandoning millions of dollars in property. The refugees were then sent to large confinement sites in the western, southwestern, and southern United States, while others went to smaller facilities across the nation.

The Memorial has a series of panels that lists the names of those Japanese-Americans who gave the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the fellow citizens.  The walls of the Memorial also contain a number of relevant quotes engraved in stone , as well as information about the location of the ten internment sites during the war, and the number of those interned at the sites.

However, the central feature of the Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II is a statue depicting two Japanese cranes caught in barbed wire, on top of a tall pedestal made of green Vermont marble. Rising above the rest of the memorial, the cranes are visible from beyond the memorial walls, which symbolically celebrates the ability to rise beyond limitations. Their postures reflect one another – one wing pointing upwards, the other downwards, mirroring each other as they represent the duality of the universe. Pressing their bodies against one another and seeming to hold onto the barbed wire, the birds at the same time show individual effort to escape restraint as well as the need for communal support and interdependency on one another.

The symbolism and meaning of the Memorial to Japanese-American Patriotism in World War II was perhaps best expressed at its dedication ceremony when then-U.S Attorney General Janet Reno shared a letter from President Bill Clinton, which stated, “We are diminished when any American is targeted unfairly because of his or her heritage. This memorial and the internment sites are powerful reminders that stereotyping, discrimination, hatred and racism have no place in this country.”