ROCHESTER, Minn. - The opening of the Law Enforcement Foundation's new memorial in Soldier's Field has been delayed due to weather and equipment delivery delays, but is planned to now open to the public in May or June.
Last week, the granite slabs that will make the walls surrounding the memorial were delivered and they are planned to be up by next week.
21 special evergreen trees will surround the site to withstand all seasons and guard the 34 engraved names of the men and women who gave their lives in line-on-duty.
"When an officer dies in line-of-duty, their family then feels like their connection to those law enforcement families is forever severed and gone," said Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson. "Through my years, I've been trying to make sure law enforcement agencies work on that. That if they do have a line-of-duty death, they don't lose connection with that family. Ever. They need to stay with that family, be a part of that family, and let them know that they are a part of that agency. Forever."
In the middle of the memorial will stand an obelisk with 10 sides, five smooth and five rough.
"The smooth sections symbolize when an officer starts in their career," said Sheriff Torgerson. "They're new and fresh in uniform and they're excited...all the good things we want in our officers. And as they go through their career they get a little rougher. They see a lot of bad stuff and deal with a lot of things and it wears on an officer."
Almost all of the memorial, including construction, has been donated by the community.
While Sheriff Torgerson is hopeful the memorial will open in May, there is still a need for fundraising for specific pieces of marble and the upkeeping of the memorial once it has been opened.