Behind the Scenes
The Fallen Heroes Wreath Program Arizona strives to remember the brave Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our state.
This program began in 2014 as an act of remembrance for fallen Philadelphia Police Officer John Pawlowksi. Officer Pawlowski’s sister-in-law, Michelle Pawlowski, wanted to remember the ultimate sacrifice John and other Officers buried at his cemetery made. It began modestly with eighteen wreaths, and spread the following year to include all 274 Philadelphia Police Officers killed in the line of duty. Today, the original program has expanded to include almost all of Pennsylvania.
In 2016, the program was brought to Arizona by Erin Morgan, wife to Phoenix Police Officer Matt Morgan. Unable to find a fair way to remember only part of the state, Erin chose to take on the entire state the first year, which included 295 Officers from town, city, county, state and federal departments.
With the help of numerous volunteers, donations were solicited, supplies purchased and wreaths assembled. Following the assembly, wreaths were shipped throughout Arizona.
Across the state and with various departments, volunteers gathered again to deliver the wreaths at the beginning of the holiday season to the graves of Fallen Officers. Each Officer’s name was spoken, a wreath placed and a moment of silence observed. Those Officers with missing graves, cremated or buried out of state were recognized and honored at the Peace Officer Memorial in Downtown Phoenix.
Now entering its fourth year in Arizona, the program includes all of Arizona's Fallen Firefighters. This year, volunteers will assemble 500 wreaths to place throughout the state.
As the program expands, departments have come forward to help identify Fallen Heroes not originally on the list. Each year our numbers grow through research, and sadly, through the loss of our own brave heroes.
Across the country, the Fallen Heroes Wreath Program is proud to acknowledge chapters in eight states. Hopefully each year will bring more support and the expansion of the program until it is nationwide.
The Fallen Heroes Wreath Program exists to prove that these Officers and Firefighters will never be forgotten, whether gone for more than one hundred years or one year; whether their families are still around or not. Their lives mattered and so do their memories. We invite you to share your stories and pledge your support, because our Fallen should NEVER be forgotten.
"As long as we speak their names, they will NEVER be forgotten."