Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

This week’s “Thankful Thursday” would like to honor Saving a Hero’s Place (SHP), a non-profit organization with a mission to remember our fallen officers and firefighters. SHP builds and delivers “Honor Chairs,” each with a unique design to remember fallen officers. The chairs are then delivered in person to the law enforcement agency where the officer worked.

The chairs bear the name of the fallen officer or firefighter with a replica of the agency’s badge or shoulder patch along with a bible verse or a quote exemplary of their career. Over 100 chairs have been produced and personally delivered to the heroes’ agencies.

SHP and its mission are the subjects of a documentary film by Patrick Shaver titled “Honor Chair.” The film tells the story of SHP, how the chairs are made, and the subsequent delivery of the chairs to their new homes. SHP are about people who care about others and the Honor Chair project. “The work of Saving a Hero’s Place teaches us that our fallen law enforcement officers are never forgotten. “Here, you have a group of friends who are otherwise strangers to the outside world and they are creating permanent memorials to forever hold the place of your loved one, in some cases, decades after the loss,” said Patrick Shaver.

When SHP learns that a law enforcement agency or fire department would like to memorialize a fallen officer with a chair, they add it to their “To Do” list. At a later date, SHP delivers a completed chair draped in a “Thin Blue Line” protective cover along with a velvet rope running between the armrests above the seat. 

Shaver’s documentary film includes a segment highlighting a delivery trip when they were flagged down by a woman who asked if she could donate, right there at the side of the road. “When that citizen stopped us and donated $200 to Saving a Hero’s Place at the side of the highway, that was such a powerful moment. Not only did this woman want to contribute to their work, but she wasn’t going to wait. She was the highlight of our week together,” said Shaver.

SHP consists of full-time police officers who contribute their time in support of its mission. The costs associated to the Honor Chair project are funded through donations, the sale of logo merchandise and at their annual banquet.

“These people are as selfless as any I have ever met. They do this purely out of respect and love for the profession of law enforcement,” said Shaver.

Each agency decides where the honor chair will be displayed. Some agencies place them in the lobby or other public areas. Others have them in the roll call room, where the memory of each fallen officer attends each briefing as officers prepare for another shift. It is simply a reminder that a fallen colleague is still with them in spirit, and will not be forgotten.