The Memorial

Posted in General

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The memorial, which resides in front of the Blair County Courthouse, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, consists of a wall with the names of the officers engraved in granite, along with a bronze statue of a uniformed police officer kneeling. The figure of a uniformed officer, almost reverent in his pose, - on one knee the folded flag cradled in one hand, head down, face shielded. In his grief he is set apart by the uniform he wears and the job that he does. Your first instinct is to go to him, touch him, try somehow to comfort him. But something holds you back; for a moment you watch from a distance, respectful of his pain.

An innocent child has been added to the memorial, attempting to do just that, comfort the officer, or possible out of curiosity, he picks up the officer's hat and attempts to inquire why he is kneeling.

The statue, "Called to Duty" captures the loss which we feel when one of our own has made the ultimate sacrifice, a break in the "thin blue line" that binds us all the more firmly together. It symbolizes the law enforcement officer's manifest destiny - the ever present weight of knowing that we may be "Called to Duty" at any time, and the dedication, honor, and strength that keeps us going, even in the face of that knowledge.

To the best of our knowledge, Blair County has lost four (4) officers in the line of duty.

Patrolman William L. Stephens, Altoona Police Department, 01/05/1920

Patrolman Thomas W. Buck, Altoona Police Department, 02/01/1931

Patrolman Robert J. Bigelow, Altoona Police Department, 12/09/1933

Patrolman Ronald J. Turek, Blair Township Police Department, 03/27/1985

Some other names that are inscribed on the walls of the Blair County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Foundation, Inc, are officers who at one time resided or were stationed in Blair County, but relocated to another jurisdiction or were transferred, and got killed in the line of duty, outside Blair County.

Private Floyd B. Clouse, Pennsylvania State Police, 11/02/1953

Patrolman Ronald D. Seymore, Bellfonte Police Department, 10/19/1971

Corporal John S. Valent, Pennsylvania State Police, 12/09/1971

Sergeant Arthur L. Hershey, Pennsylvania State Police, 01/03/1999