New design unveiled for Hawaii's law enforcement memorial
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As Hawaii honors its fallen police officers this week, the push continues to build a permanent memorial. The Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation just released renderings of the tribute's new design. Supporters said they still need about $300,000 for construction.
Forty-five Honolulu Police Department officers have been killed in the line of duty, including two since last year's Police Week procession. Officer Eric Fontes died during a traffic stop in September. Officer Garrett Davis was killed in a fiery crash in January after pulling over to help a stranded driver.
"When I arrived at the accident scene, it was like the whole world had come to an abrupt stop. I couldn't believe that 'G Man' was gone," said Davis' beat partner, Sgt. James Kinney.
Hawaii is the only state without a memorial for its fallen law enforcement officers. Last year, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill allowing the tribute to be built next to the Kalanimoku building.
"I think everyone is gonna love what the final design looks like. It's beautiful. It's very simple, but great for families," said Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation board member Cory Lee.
Lee said the foundation has raised $200,000 of the $500,000 needed for construction.
"We're also looking for in-kind donations so other companies and vendors out there that would like to be part of building this memorial can maybe help us with the concrete, the labor," said Lee.
"We hope they find comfort there, comfort from their grief," said Robert Cravalho of the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation. "I hope they remember. I'm sure they will. They'll remember their heroes."
The woman who led the push for the memorial, Joan Gribbin-Aiu, died in January after battling breast cancer.
"We're just wanting to see her vision through. This is her legacy," said Lee.
The inaugural Hawaii State Ride for the Fallen will be held on May 20. The money raised from the motorcycle ride will be used to construct the memorial.
"It's all about the officers, those officers that made the ultimate sacrifice. The money, whatever we get, is just going to help to build the memorial and maintain it," said Cravalho.
The goal is to finish the tribute by April 2013, in time for next year's Police Week.
For more information, go to www.rideforthefallenhawaii.com.
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