The black stone rectangular monument is etched with the 17 names of Springfield Police Officers who were killed in the line of duty since 1675. It also includes the Springfield Police badge with a black ribbon across it and the words ‘End of Watch’. It is illuminated with blue lights.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, State Senator Adam Gomez, City Council President Jesse Lederman and Councilors Tim Allen and Justin Hurst, Springfield Police Chaplin Fr. Bill Hamilton, members of the Springfield Police Department, Massachusetts State Police and Hampden County Sheriff’s Office, and many families, friends and supporters were in attendance, including Maura Schiavina, sister to the late SPD Officer Michael Schiavina who is one of the 17 names listed on the memorial monument.
Fr. Hamilton gave the opening and closing prayer and the golden voice of Springfield, Vanessa Ford, sang the national anthem.
Project Blue Light is a nationwide recognition of those Police Officers who have died in the line of duty. It began in 1988 when the surviving mother-in-law of a Philadelphia Police Officer killed in the line of duty told Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) that she would put two blue lights in her window to remember her son-in-law and her daughter who was killed in a car crash. “Project Blue Light” now burns bright in the hearts of nearly 15,000 surviving families of American’s fallen law enforcement officers.
Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood spoke to the crowd that gathered, which included the families and friends of those who have lost a loved one while serving and protecting our community, and expressed her appreciation and support to those families and loved ones who have lost someone in the line of duty, many of whom she knew personally, especially as we approach the holiday season. She also addressed and thanked those women and men currently serving to protect our residents and businesses for their service day-in and day-out.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno spoke and thanked those in attendance for coming together to honor and remember our brave and dedicated men and women in blue and their families.
“We must always remember and never forget the brave, dedicated and compassionate police officers who lost their lives serving and protecting our community,” said Mayor Sarno. “Their families suffer every day, especially during the holidays with that empty chair at the table. May God rest their souls and my God continue to protect our men and women in blue and their families.”
Maura Schiavina, the sister of fallen Springfield Police Officer Michael Schiavina also spoke on behalf of the surviving families and stressed the importance of never forgetting those who have sacrificed their lives to protect and hold the line between good and evil.
In addition to the ceremony, Monarch Tower in downtown Springfield lit up the upper portion of their building blue to honor Project Blue Light in memory and in support of the fallen Springfield Police Officers and their families.
On behalf of the City of Springfield and the Springfield Police Department, we thank and want to recognize Monarch Place and Paul Picknelly for this symbolic gesture. The City of Springfield and the Springfield Police Department is respectfully asking residents to place a blue light bulb on their porch or an electric candle in their window to show their appreciation for our police officers throughout the holiday season.