COLORADO SPRINGS,Colo. - After years of planning and funding officials broke ground Friday on the new Pikes Peak region peace officer's memorial at Memorial Park.
"These officers aren't heroes because they died, they're heroes because of the way they lived," said Dan May, district attorney.
The new memorial will give many a chance to remember those who've paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"My brother was killed in the line of duty in 2006," said Jonika Winkler, from Colorado Springs.
Winkler says the new memorial brings her peace.
"I can't even put it into words. It just gives me happy goose bumps when I look at them because I've wanted a place to go to take my kids to remember their uncle and my brother for the sacrifice he made," Winkler said.
Her and several others helped break ground at the new site.
"There will be 31 names of fallen officers on this wall representing 10 law enforcement agencies in the Pikes Peak region," said police Chief Pete Carey.
To date, $1.1 million in funds has been raised toward the $1.45 million required to complete construction. On July 12, 2017, the memorial was awarded a $175,000 matching grant from El Pomar Foundation. Upon raising the remaining $175,000 by December 31, 2017, the El Pomar Foundation will match that amount, for a total of $350,000.
"We haven't had a place to go locally so it will be very nice," Winkler said.
Officials expect the memorial to be built and finished by the end of 2018.