This June marks the 100th anniversary of the Washington State Patrol. We want to recognize and honor those who serve or have served with the Washington State Patrol. Thank you for your dedication and service to our community. We also want to remember those officers who died in the line of duty and the families who survive them. Thank you for your sacrifice.
Although it has been over a year since Washington State Trooper Justin Schaffer of Adna was killed in the line of duty, he and his fallen comrades are not forgotten.
Eighth-graders Visit the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., to Honor Fallen Trooper Justin Schaffer
The week after Trooper Justin Schaffer’s name was etched on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., eighth-grade students from Centralia Christian School rearranged their East Coast trip itinerary to visit the memorial and pay tribute to Schaffer.
A few days before the students left on their eight-day American history trip, their teacher, Robin Montgomery, learned Justin Schaffer’s name had just been added to the memorial. So Montgomery, who teaches with Schaffer’s sister-in-law, Sharon Berg, contacted their tour guide to see if they could make a last-minute addition to their itinerary.
Berg is the students’ PE teacher and coach and the sister of Schaffer’s wife. “We were going to D.C. to visit the memorials of those who gave their lives for our freedoms. It was important to me that my students honor one of our hometown heroes and also to show his family how much we care,” said Montgomery.
Despite their tight schedule, the class was able to work in a special stop to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Students found Schaffer’s name toward the bottom of one of the blue-gray marble panels, and a few of the girls from Berg’s basketball team took turns getting rubbings of his name to give to his family.
Each year on their trip, the class visits several memorials in Washington, D.C. to honor fallen soldiers — the Iwo Jima Memorial, WWII Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Wall, and Arlington National Cemetery, where two of the students laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The class does not usually visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. This year, however, there was more than one reason for the stop.
Officer Tracy Murphy, a K-9 officer for the City of Centralia and a parent chaperone on the trip, was a personal friend of Schaffer’s. Standing in front of Schaffer’s name, he shared a few words about the history of the wall and the ultimate sacrifice represented by over 22,000 names of officers who died in the line of duty. “This memorial is different from many of the others you will visit,” Murphy told the students. “It is a living memorial because names are continually added.”
The students ended their visit by praying for the fallen officers’ families. Photos of the students’ visit and the rubbings of Schaffer’s name were later shared with Berg and Schaffer’s family.
Stained Glass Memorial Window by Local Artist Marcy Anholt Permanently Installed in Washington State Patrol Fallen Heroes Wall in Olympia
After traveling around Washington for almost five years, a beautiful stained-glass window created by local artist Marcy Anholt to honor fallen Washington State Patrol officers has finally come to rest.
As part of the Washington State Patrol Centennial Commemoration, Anholt’s work of art was permanently installed on the Washington State Patrol Fallen Heroes Wall in the Helen Sommers building in Olympia. Her stunning centerpiece depicts an angel standing watch over a state trooper as he kneels over the tombstone of a fallen comrade. The new memorial was unveiled on Washington State Patrol’s 100th anniversary in a special ceremony to honor the fallen heroes.
Anholt’s poignant image is a somber reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by each of the fallen Washington State Troopers whose names and pictures are displayed on the wall. Thirty-one plaques commemorate the number of officers killed in the line of duty since the inception of the Washington State (Highway) Patrol one hundred years ago in 1921.
The idea for the stained-glass memorial window came from Captain Neil Weaver, the Washington State Patrol’s government media relations officer and Anholt’s neighbor. About five years ago, he approached the local artist and asked her to create a stained-glass art piece to honor Washington State Patrol fallen officers. Anholt agreed. The resulting labor of love was a joint effort between the neighbors. Anholt donated her time, Weaver covered the cost of the materials, and Anholt’s husband built the wooden frame and stand for the traveling display as well as the carrying crate.
Over the past five years, the commemorative work of art traveled around the state to many Washington State Patrol memorial banquets that raised college funds for the fallen officers’ children. Anholt’s window, displayed on a standing pedestal draped in black, provided the perfect photo backdrop for attendees and fallen heroes’ families.
Now permanently installed on the Fallen Heroes Wall, Anholt’s stained glass window provides the perfect backdrop for the memorial. It remains a beautiful tribute to the officers who gave their lives serving the people of Washington State.
Marcy Anholt has been creating stained glass art since 1977 and has crafted many pieces for churches and local businesses in her beautiful Chehalis studio. Anholt participates in the ARTrails Open Studio Tours on the third and fourth weekends in September. For more information, check out this LewisTalk feature article or visit Marcy Anholt’s artist webpage.