Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let their names be the last: Tampa Police Memorial

The silhouette of the uniformed police officer stands atop the memorial to the 29 Tampa Police Officers killed in the line of duty since 1895. Each officer made the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of Tampa. Their names are inscribed in the Roll Call of Honor. The first officer to die in the line of duty was Officer John McCormick, who was killed September 25, 1895, right near this spot on Franklin Street where the memorial and the Tampa Police headquarters are located. And the last was Corporal Michael Roberts who died on August 19, 2009. Two names of officers who were killed in towns that were annexed after the city was incorporated were added in the front; Town Marshall Joseph Walker, of Port Tampa City, who died in 1915; and Officer Juan Nales, City of West Tampa, who died in 1920. This is a very powerful and moving tribute to these fine officers. It stands right in front of the entrance to the Tampa Police building. Click on the photo to enlarge it and see the sculptural elements just above the badge with black band.

This is a poem that is inscribed on the Tampa Police Memorial:

I never dreamed it would be me

my name for all eternity, recorded

here at the hallowed place, alas,

my name, no more my face.

"In the line of duty" I hear them say,

my family now the price to pay,

my folded flag stained with their tears,

we only had those few short years.

The badge no longer on my chest,

I sleep now in eternal rest, my sword

I pass to those behind, and pray they,

keep this thought in mind.

I never dreamed it would be me

and with heave heart and bended knee,

I ask for all here from the past;

Dear God, let my name be the last.

(Written by George Hahn, Los Angeles Police Department, Retired)


  1. There is always one more name.

  2. That is a very nice memorial. I used to be married to a police officer and I spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying.

  3. Powerful and moving photo and commentary, Frank. The sculpture or statue is rather unusual and exemplifies perfectly the meaning of the memorial.