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'This Is A Part Of History': Dallas Public Library To Preserve Memorial For Fallen Officers

Christopher Connelly
Friends of the Dallas Public Library is seeking funding to archive and eventually display these memorial items as a collection.

After the July attack in downtown Dallas that left five police officers dead, mourners created a makeshift memorial in front of the Jack Evans Police Headquarters in Dallas. Nearly six months later, efforts are underway at the Dallas Public Library to preserve these items.  

Jo Giudice is the director of the Dallas Public Library, and she joined KERA’s Justin Martin to talk about the collection.

Interview highlights:

... on why they're preserving the collection: "Well, this is a part of history now. While July 7 will never leave our memories as a tragic event, these items represent how the city reacted and how the world reacted really."

... on what kind of items people left at the memorial: "Just about anything you can imagine was left behind, and it really differed by the person leaving it. One of the oddest things I think we found was a tape measure, like a construction worker would carry, and I don't know if it fell off of someone's belt while they were leaving something out, or if they purposefully left that, but we've added that to the collection because it was left there. You know, some of my favorite are the most meaningful, are the things left by children. So there's a green dinosaur, you know, probably something very well loved and will be missed by the child who left it behind. So it was a sacrifice on their part to leave it and that's what I think this collection is about — it's about how they showed their love."

... on plans to display the exhibit: "We will have ongoing displays of the items and rotating them out. The police museum is also displaying items on the second floor at Jack Evans, and we're helping them with that. So, it's a collaborative effort. You can see them, and we're already gearing up for July at the library in 2017 to have items in every single library location, so you can see them in your neighborhood."

More: Here is the Friends of the Dallas Public Library GoFundMe campaign for the collection.

Justin Martin is KERA’s local host of All Things Considered, anchoring afternoon newscasts for KERA 90.1. Justin grew up in Mannheim, Germany, and avidly listened to the Voice of America and National Public Radio whenever stateside. He graduated from the American Broadcasting School, and further polished his skills with radio veteran Kris Anderson of the Mighty 690 fame, a 50,000 watt border-blaster operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Justin has worked as holiday anchor for the USA Radio Network, serving the U.S. Armed Forces Network. He’s also hosted, produced, and engineered several shows, including the Southern Gospel Jubilee on 660 KSKY.