State Police, Officials Break Ground on Oregon's Fallen Trooper Memorial

After five years of planning and fundraising, crews broke ground on June 14 in Salem for the Oregon State Police Fallen Troopers Memorial.

📅   Fri August 05, 2016 - West Edition #16
Lori Tobias - CEG CORRESPONDENT


The memorial will feature a black basalt wall with the names of fallen troopers. In the center will be a map of Oregon with stars showing where each death occurred. An unfinished column will be placed in the middle to symbolize troopers who will never be able to finish their job.
The memorial will feature a black basalt wall with the names of fallen troopers. In the center will be a map of Oregon with stars showing where each death occurred. An unfinished column will be placed in the middle to symbolize troopers who will never be able to finish their job.
The memorial will feature a black basalt wall with the names of fallen troopers. In the center will be a map of Oregon with stars showing where each death occurred. An unfinished column will be placed in the middle to symbolize troopers who will never be able to finish their job.
After five years of planning and fundraising, crews broke ground on June 14 in Salem for the Oregon State Police Fallen Troopers Memorial.
The memorial is unique in part because it is being built out of locally sourced materials, and it may be the only one of its kind.
The memorial will feature a black basalt wall with the names of fallen troopers. In the center will be a map of Oregon with stars showing where each death occurred. An unfinished column will be placed in the middle to symbolize troopers who will never be able to finish their job.

After five years of planning and fundraising, crews broke ground on June 14 in Salem for the Oregon State Police Fallen Troopers Memorial. The memorial will honor 33 Oregon State Police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“This is the most in-the-line-of-duty deaths of any law enforcement agency in the state of Oregon,” said OSP Lt. Cari Boyd, president of the committee charged with raising the $235,000 to fund the memorial.

The memorial was inspired by the loss of the life of Senior Trooper William Hakim, who was killed in 2008 in a bomb explosion, Boyd said. At the time of his death, there was a plaque outside the OSP headquarters honoring fallen troopers, but Hakim's name could not be placed on the plaque because there was no room.

“At the time, superintendent Tim McLain thought this was a huge injustice that Senior Trooper Bill Hakim could not be brought home,” Boyd told the gathering at the Flag Day groundbreaking. “He thought of the vision of having the foundation, and building this memorial to honor our fallen troopers. This memorial will show the dedication and honor our fallen troopers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Millions of people will get to see it every year as they come and visit the capital.”

The memorial will feature a black basalt wall with the names of fallen troopers. In the center will be a map of Oregon with stars showing where each death occurred. An unfinished column will be placed in the middle to symbolize troopers who will never be able to finish their job.

“We are so proud to be a part of this,” said Gene Bolante, lead architect at Studio 3 Architecture, designers of the memorial.

White Oak Construction, based in Salem, was selected to construct the memorial. The memorial is unique in part because it is being built out of locally sourced materials, and it may be the only one of its kind, said White Oak Construction project manager Dan Wellert.

“I'm not aware of anything that is similar to this,” Wellert said. “Typically with a memorial for this type, you'd get just black granite from China, shaped and polished, and delivered to the U.S. This was mined out of the ground locally. The stone — huge basalt boulders — came from Madras, and were hand-sculpted to what it is today by Portland sculptor Jason Jones of Jones Sculpture Studio.”

Crews are preparing to pour the foundation for the memorial, which has a footprint of about 20-by-33 ft. (6 by 10 m). It is comprised of seven pieces, weighing 6,500 to 8,000 lbs. (2,948 to 3,629 kg) each, plus the granite column. The artist will set the actual stone with a heavy-duty telescoping forklift like Sky Trak, Wellert said.

“I think the biggest part of this is they got permission to put this on the Capital mall,” he said. “That's really important that it is going right there outside of the Public Service Building where the officers were sworn in. That's roughly 50 feet from where this is going. We're really excited. It just means so much. From the citizens side, the officers don't get told enough how much we citizens appreciate what they do every day, and those who have paid the ultimate price. It's great to be part of a way to acknowledge that and thank them for their service.”

The memorial is set to be complete in the fall of 2016.

“The fallen trooper board has just exhausted efforts in raising the money,” said Wellert. “It's been really great working side by side with state police and seeing it from infancy. It's just been great. Everybody has been phenomenal.”