After nearly 17 months of planning and preparation, survivors of fallen Oregon State Police troopers used shovels to ceremoniously break ground Wednesday at the site planned for the construction of a memorial honoring fallen troopers. Approximately 150 people gathered during the Department's 81st anniversary on the grounds of the Oregon State Capitol State Park in Salem outside the west entrance to the Public Service Building. Oregon State Police Superintendent Richard Evans and Fallen Trooper Memorial Committee Chairman Gregory Willeford made comments prior to the groundbreaking which served as a welcome benchmark of the progress made in developing the memorial.
Oregon State Senator Peter Courtney, Senator Ted Ferrioli, Representatives Andy Olson and Representative Kim Thatcher were in attendance along with former Superintendents Emil Brandaw, John C. Williams, LeRon Howland, and Timothy McLain. Representatives from local law enforcement, Oregon State Police employees, many family members and family survivors were also present.
"We appreciate the tireless efforts of many people who are working to make this memorial a reality," said Evans. "We want to make sure we never forget those who lost their lives serving as Oregon State Police troopers."
Funded entirely by private donations, using all Northwest businesses and materials, construction will begin after the memorial's $233,000 fundraising goal is reached. Over half of the costs have been raised through donations in the past eleven months. Anyone can make a tax deductible contribution to the "OSP Fallen Trooper Memorial" at any U.S. Bank branch, or online at the Fallen Trooper Memorial website www.ospmemorial.org.