One year after the establishment of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in March 2004, CBP’s Valor Memorial was unveiled at its headquarters in Washington’s Ronald Reagan Building. CBP’s legacy agencies previously had their own memorials. The Valor Memorial is a tangible sign of CBP’s continued commitment to honor the agents, officers and employees who lost their lives in the line of duty.
CBP’s Valor Memorial is located in the Reagan Building’s Remembrance Hall, near the 14th Street entrance. It is comprised of glass windows, supported by metal beams and engraved with the names of the fallen.
CBP comes together each year during National Police Week to recognize and honor employees who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of the American people. National Police Week originated when President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726, and draws thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world to Washington to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. CBP conducts the Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony during Police Week to honor its fallen employees and add names to the Valor Memorial of CBP employees who died in the line of duty.
CBP has honored its fallen employees since 2003 and continues to honor the fallen of its legacy agencies. The honorees were all uniformed law enforcement personnel until 2020, when CBP began to recognize non-uniformed, non-law enforcement personnel who have died in the line of duty. This inclusion acknowledges their role in the agency’s mission and their dedication to CBP’s core values to our nation -- vigilance, service to country and integrity.
There have been an unprecedented number of line-of-duty deaths in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 37 CBP employees died in the line of duty in 2021 – the most in one year in the history of the agency and its legacy agencies. The current Valor Memorial does not have enough space to recognize additional line-of-duty deaths, so CBP is building a new memorial to ensure that the sacrifices of these valiant employees continue to be recognized properly.
The new memorial will have a circular structure, similar to the wreath that is laid at the Valor Memorial ceremony, symbolizing the continuation of life and eternity. Granite stone, representing strength and fortitude, will be the memorial’s foundation. The U.S. flag, representing CBP’s deep commitment to service, will be imprinted into the glass rising above the granite, and the names of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice will be etched into the glass. A bench providing a place where loved ones can rest, reflect, and honor the men and women whose names are inscribed on the monument will be in the center of the circular structure. The new Valor Memorial is scheduled to be unveiled in 2024.
For a list of all CBP employees who died in the line of duty, please visit the In Memoriam to Those Who Died in the Line of Duty page.