City Council OKs design for Raleigh police memorial
Posted July 16, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — City leaders on Tuesday approved final design plans for a memorial to honor eight Raleigh police officers killed in the line of duty.
The $500,000 memorial, which is expected to be completed in May, will span a half block and wrap around the corner in front of the Raleigh Municipal Building on West Hargett Street.
It will have eight holes to represent the lives lost between 1922 and 2002 and include a 64-foot water feature that artist Thomas Sayre says is designed to promote serenity and peace for visitors.
"This isn't about dwelling on the loss and on tragedy and on death," Sayre said. "This is receiving inspiration."
It's inspiration that relatives of the fallen officers say is long overdue.
"It will be something we can see and we can share with our friends and with the community," said Melissa Hogan, whose uncle, James Allen, was killed more than 44 years ago.
Allen and another officer, James Lee, were killed in a wreck when their patrol car was hit by another car and pushed into a utility pole on Dec. 5, 1968, Allen had been with the police department for two years; Lee for four years.
Denise Holden had been with the police department for seven months when her patrol car crashed into a telephone pole in the early hours of Aug. 4, 1995, while she was on her way to assist another police officer.
Her family still bursts with pride over her service.
"We're so proud, very proud," her sister, Ronda Holden, said. "I knew this was one of her goals, and I know that she died living her dream."
The Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation has already raised $350,000 toward the project through private donations and a variety of fundraisers, including half-marathons, 5K runs and golf tournaments. Its next fundraiser, the 4th Annual Five-O Memorial Bicycle Ride, is scheduled for Aug. 24.
"(The memorial is) no longer a vision, it's a reality," Memorial Foundation President Dennis Lane said.