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Crowd gathers at Cleveland’s Police Memorial Square to honour fallen officers

May 2023

In the middle of May every year, all across America, ceremonies are held in honour of National Police Week; a week where police officers across America attend ceremonies in honor and remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

On 19 May, in Cleveland, Ohio, a crowd gathered at Police Memorial Square in downtown Cleveland’s Huntington Park, to honour police officers from the Greater Cleveland Area, as well as Special Agents from Cleveland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Deputy Marshalls with the Cleveland office of the United States Marshall Service.

Included in the parade was a detachment of Canadian officers, who attend each year in support of their American brothers and sisters in law enforcement.

Within Police Memorial Square are five black polished granite containing the names of 192 officers, a curved wall that slopes gently from two feet high upward to six feet semi-surrounding pillars, with the inscription: The Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial.

Organized and built by the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Society, the first parade was held in 1986, bringing to fruition an idea envisioned by Cleveland Police Officers Charles “Chas” Lane and Tom Armelli, while they drank beers at the Cleveland Police Patrolmans Hall in the wake of the funeral for fellow Cleveland Police Officer Stephan Kovach.

Lane and Armelli envisioned police officers and other members of the law enforcement profession coming together to celebrate their common calling and to honor those who have died in the line of duty. The end result was the creation of the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society and the granite monuments being erected in Huntington Park.

At this year’s ceremony, Master of Ceremonies Anthony “Tony” Rizzo, from ESPN Cleveland, introduced the dignitaries speaking to the assembled crowd, including Joseph Mannion, President of the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society and Chief Wayne Drummond, Cleveland Division of Police.

Special guest speaker this year was Alaina Hagans, surviving daughter of Cleveland Police Detective Robert James Clark II, who was killed on 1 July 1998. Alaina, who was very young when her father was dilled, spoke of her father and of her life growing up without him.

Fortunately, there were no new names added to the Greater Cleveland monument this year, but mention was made of the 164 officers added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, in 2022, along with the 5 Canadian officers killed in the line of duty.

The names of all 192 officers listed on the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial walls were read off at a special candlelight ceremony held the previous Monday evening at Police Memorial Square, read aloud by Todd Meany, co-anchor of Cleveland’s Fox 8 News in the Morning.

Sources: Cleveland police memorial parade for 2023 Police Week: Live video | wkyc.com, Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial – Cleveland Police Museum, GCPOMS-Epitaph-May-NL-PROOF.pdf (policememorialsociety.org), National Police Week, Facebook, National Police Week Northeast Ohio: 192 fallen officers honored in Cleveland (fox8.com), Todd Meany (fox8.com).

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/cleveland-memorial/

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