Despite the challenges from Covid, the Trust were determined that this iconic tribute to the fallen from our Police service should be commemorated in the most fitting way.
Dedicating the memorial HRH said: ‘In this poignant and moving setting of the National Memorial Arboretum, we dedicate this inspirational Police Memorial, mindful of the lives of almost 5,000 men and women from our police service who have died.
‘To those of you with personal experience of sudden, unexpected, deep, emotional, and life lasting loss, I extend to you all my thoughts and prayers. On behalf of a grateful nation, I want to express my immense gratitude for the courage and sacrifice of those who have laid down their lives to keep us safe and protect us from harm, remember their loved ones who mourn, and pay tribute to those who continue to serve to safeguard our freedoms’.
On that July morning in Staffordshire, the Trust were joined by the families of officers killed, representatives from the Service, policing charities, politicians from across the political landscape and our major donors and supporters, plus an unfortunate few heavy showers. But as Katherine Jenkins sang I vow to thee my country the rain stopped, the clouds broke and the sun shone encompassing the memorial in a golden radiance showing it in its full glory.
After the dedication ceremony HRH the Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and Home Secretary went on to meet the families of officers who had died, policing charities, plus representatives from across the Police service.
Speaking after the event the Prime Minister said: ‘I was moved by the ceremony and on hearing the profound stories of heroism from the families and friends of those police officers who had fallen in the service to their country’.
The PM also thanked Trustees for their hard work in building a ‘powerful and poignant symbol of the ultimate sacrifice made by officers’.
You can still view the dedication ceremony by visiting www.ukpolicememorial.org
Since the dedication ceremony the memorial has been visited by tens of thousands of people, almost two thousand in the week after it was opened.
The feedback to the Trust from the Arboretum and people who have visited the site has been extremely positive and the Trust expects the number of visitors to increase significantly throughout 2022.