Wreath with "Gone But Not Forgotten" ribbon for slain Lakewood, Washington police officers

Gone But Not Forgotten – Remembering the Lakewood Four, Ten Years After

Black Friday has another meaning this year. November 29, the day four Lakewood police officers were killed south of Tacoma a decade ago, lands on the same day this year as the kick-off of Christmas shopping season.

Of course Black Friday marks the day when retailers’ finances traditionally get “into the black” for the year. This time of remembrance for fallen officers is also a good thing.

Ten Year Memorial

A large American flag hung from a fire truck hangs in front of a street sign for Officers Memorial Drive
A large American Flag hangs at Officers Memorial Drive

Community members gather every year to remember the four Lakewood, Washington police officers slain in a coffee shop ten years ago.

Those heading to this year’s event were greeted with darkness and 20 degree temperatures. Blue field lights were lit at JBLM‘s McChord Field across the street even though there was no takeoff or landing activity.

It’s freezing cold outside but warm inside. Blue Steele Coffee, the site of the event, has a Christmas tree adorned with blue lights. The steady line at the counter includes many first responders in uniform. 

The adjacent Officers Memorial Drive was closed to traffic for the memorial. The sunrise illuminated the huge American flag unfurled from a West Pierce Fire & Rescue ladder truck. 

Attendees included over a dozen police officers, over a hundred community members, and a half dozen news crews that might otherwise be documenting Black Friday shopping activities.

Law Enforcement Gathering Place

The four officers were killed in the shop while preparing for their shifts. It’s still a popular place for police and fire fighters to stop for coffee.

First responders from around the country stop to pay their respects (and sometimes leave a patch). Motorcycle clubs include a stop at Blue Steele in their memorial rides.

The commemoration was held at the Law enforcement memorial at the corner of Steele Street and Officers Memorial Drive.

2 thoughts on “Gone But Not Forgotten – Remembering the Lakewood Four, Ten Years After”

  1. Thanks for this, Steve. At our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday I was talking about this anniversary with my nephew, a deputy in Washington County Oregon. He told me about the documentary http://www.fallenproject.com/ that features the story of these four heroes. I watched it last night and I recommend it to everyone.

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