Inclement weather did not deter the National Law Enforcement Museum Groundbreaking Ceremony – a much anticipated and rousing occasion – from taking place this morning at 11 a.m., right on schedule despite the obstacles presented by mother nature.
Under rainy skies with umbrellas in hand, members of the U.S. Congress, major corporations, law enforcement officers, supporters and survivors gathered at the future site of the Museum, located across the street from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. Loyal citizens traveled far and wide to celebrate building commencement of the Museum that will tell the story of American law enforcement through exhibits, collections, research and education.
Ten years ago, Congress authorized legislation to begin planning for the first-ever Museum dedicated to the law enforcement profession. For all involved in the project, the journey has been long and often tiresome. But today, all those efforts have been rewarded, and the once far-reaching dream to honor the men and women of law enforcement has finally been realized, with the goal of opening the Museum in late 2013.
“Almost ten years after Congress authorized this project, and following a lot of hard work, planning and generosity from the law enforcement community, corporate America and caring citizens, we are very excited and eager to get shovels in the ground later this year,” said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the Memorial Fund.
Shortly after shovels formally hit the ground this morning, the crowd processed in a mass of umbrellas across E Street to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces for an abbreviated ceremony indoors.
United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. gave the ceremony’s keynote address, expressing enthusiasm about the Museum and its goal to help the American people understand the value of law enforcement by highlighting our officers’ service to the community.
“When the National Law Enforcement Museum opens in 2013, it will tell a story that no other museum does – of more than three centuries of law enforcement officers protecting their fellow citizens, advancing the cause of justice, and establishing a tradition of service that continues to keep us safe,” said Attorney General Holder.
In his closing remarks, the Attorney General captured the essence of the future National Law Enforcement Museum, as a landmark dedicated to honoring law enforcement officers for their service and endless commitment to protect Americans.
“As our nation’s Attorney General, as the brother of a retired Port Authority officer, as a lifelong admirer of law enforcement, and, simply, as an appreciative American citizen – I look forward to the opening of what will be one of our nation’s greatest tributes to one of its greatest treasures: the devoted men and women in uniform who keep this nation safe and who make us all so proud,” he said.
Also speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony were Linda Moon Gregory, National President of the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS); and retired Det. /Sgt. from the West Orange (NJ) Police Department, Harry Phillips, the Executive Director of the Police Unity Tour, which has raised $5 million for the Museum.
Due to the rainy conditions and a curtailed ceremony, Boston Police Officer Thomas Griffiths, who joined the ranks of law enforcement after his brother, Sherman, was killed in the line of duty, was unable to share his stunning story. He will speak tonight instead, at the Groundbreaking Gala, reception beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
More information about the Groundbreaking Ceremony and Gala, to be held tonight at the National Building Museum is available at www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org/Groundbreaking.
Learn more about the National Law Enforcement Museum at www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.