The Peace Officers Memorial by Fred Richter

Peace Officers Memorial by Fred RichterPeace Officers Memorial by Fred RichterPeace Officers Memorial by Fred RichterPeace Officers Memorial by Fred RichterPeace Officers Memorial by Fred RichterBlessed are the Peacemakers

Fred Richter designed this memorial for Minnesota police officers in 1995. The columns and fountain welcome visitors from downtown St. Paul into the Minnesota State Capitol mall.

A plaque at the memorial reads:

On May 18, 1882, St. Paul Police Officer Daniel O’Connell was killed in the line of duty. He was the first officer in Minnesota who sacrificed his life while serving the citizens of this state. We honor all those who have made this same sacrifice throughout our state as they carried out their duties to make our lives better and safer. We honor all of our peace officers who serve our communities with great pride and dedication. This memorial is designed to pay tribute to all of our peace officers, past and present, but especially to those who gave their lives for us. Their courage and their sacrifice has not been forgotten.

Minnesota’s first monument for law enforcement was built and dedicated at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in 1977. Today it is a part of this design, inlaid in the granite. Here that monument finds its final home.

The paved sections of this memorial design represent the cities and urban areas of our state, while the landscaped sections represent the rural and natural areas.

The blue line, which illuminates brightly at night, represents the “thin blue line,” terminology often used when making reference to peace officers. Peace officers must walk that thin blue line daily as they protect democracy from anarchy, the lawful from the lawless, and order from chaos. Peace officers must walk that line to protect us from the worst impulses of society. This design is a tribute to the thin blue line of protection provided to us by our peace officers.

It is only fitting to recognize the valor and courage of those peace officers who sacrificed their lives defending our society so that we might live in a more secure environment. This memorial ensures that the sacrifice will never be forgotten and that they did not die in vain.

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