Construction on memorial for Hawaii's fallen heroes to begin aft - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Construction on memorial for Hawaii's fallen heroes to begin after years of delays

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

After years of delays, crews will soon start building a long-awaited tribute for Hawaii's fallen heroes. Construction work on a memorial honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty will begin on January 11 next to the Kalanimoku Building.

The Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation held a groundbreaking ceremony in 2011 after then-Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law to set aside land on Capitol District grounds. Hawaii is the only state without a memorial for fallen law enforcement officers, according to the foundation.

"It has taken us awhile, but now we are at the end of our quest," said Tommy Aiu, the foundation's executive director.

Organizers said they had no idea that it would take more than four years to come up with the funds needed for the nearly $1 million project. During the last legislative session, state lawmakers finally approved $608,000 for construction.

"The process that we saw of obtaining funds to build a memorial is difficult because the charitable pie, so to speak, everyone is taking a little bit out of it," explained Aiu.

Aiu said the foundation collected about $250,000 through Ride for the Fallen events and other fundraisers. FBI Special Agent Ed Ignacio said he also raised roughly $17,000 by taking part in at least 20 triathlons while wearing nearly 40 pounds of tactical gear during the running portion. He knows 8 of the fallen officers.

"I'd think about this is really nothing compared to some of those families who have lost a loved one and have been waiting for this memorial," said Ignacio.

Crews from Kaikor Construction and Koga Engineering will begin building the memorial after the nearby Honolulu City Lights display is taken down next month, according to Aiu. The construction work is expected to wrap up in late April in time for the annual Police Week tributes in May.

"Honor them for their sacrifice and give their families a place that they can go and find peace and solace," said Aiu.

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