Impressive Houston Police Officer’s Memorial
My husband and I have been driving past this Houston Police Officer’s Memorial for many years. For some of those years we did not even realize the significance of what it was.
One day we decided to stop and take a closer look at it.
This first photo 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 at this striking memorial dedicated to those police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty is a ceremony. Police officers who ride horses, motorcycles, bicycles and patrol cars line up in a formal ceremony 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 major foundations and individuals writing checks.
Land surrounding the Police Officer’s Memorial was donated by Charles and Beth Miller.
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 true perspective of what the artist accomplished by looking at it from above.
Sadly thus far 113 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. This will undoubtedly grow over time. 69 of them to date have been from gunfire. Vehicular assault accounts for 11 of those lives. Other things such as motorcycle accidents, stabbings and automobile accidents as examples have taken precious lives.
We owe so much to these brave men and women who put on a police officer’s uniform. They risk their lives on a daily basis 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 step 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 stems from the ancient past when ziggurats like this were built. Often they were constructed as shrines. So this is a truly 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 wide 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 truly thought it was a bit disrespectful. But I found out that at the very top of the pyramid is a small indentation. It serves as a reflecting pool. The engravings of officers names who have died are there.
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 very easy way to get around. The bridge pictured above 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 6am to 11pm daily.
It is very fitting 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 peace.