Citizen Information and Resources and Information Systems Technology
May 21, 2020
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — In commemoration of Memorial Day, Chesterfield County unveiled two new websites designed to honor the sacrifices of local public safety and military heroes who lost their lives while serving the county and the country.
The Chesterfield Fallen Public Safety Heroes and Chesterfield Fallen Military Heroes websites were designed to allow citizens to virtually tour the memorial markers, roads, bridges and public facilities dedicated to Chesterfield employees and residents who died while serving the citizens of Chesterfield County domestically and/or the safety of the United States abroad.
“These fallen heroes left behind legacies of courage, dedication and service to the greater good,” said Sarah Snead, deputy county administrator for Human Services and sponsor of the county’s Fallen Heroes Committee. “Yet, each of these heroes lived lives that transcend the sacrifice they made. I hope our residents use these new websites to read these public servants’ stories and appreciate their humanity.”
The Fallen Heroes websites offer several functions to users, including the ability to read heroes’ biographical profiles and learn more about how each were memorialized by Chesterfield County. Users are also able to learn the physical location of the heroes’ memorial markers using a virtual map, read memorial inscriptions and, where available, watch videos of the public safety officials’ and soldiers’ dedication ceremonies.
The Fallen Heroes initiative was spearheaded by Chesterfield County’s Fallen Heroes Committee, which includes representatives from the county’s Departments of Citizen Information and Resources (CIR), Communications and Media, Community Enhancement, Information Systems Technology (IST) as well as members of the county’s public safety divisions including Police, Fire and EMS and the Sheriff’s Office.
“As CIR is responsible for providing the community sources of engagement, we could not be more honored to be part of the launch of these websites that provide an interactive way to pay tribute to our fallen heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our community,” said Emily Ashley, director of CIR.
The virtual experiences were created by Chesterfield County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) team, a part of IST. Led by GIS Analyst Megan Molique, the team used the ArcGIS Online Cascade Story Map developed by software company Esri to design the interactive maps that showcase the stories of the fallen heroes as well as display the location information of memorials dedicated in their honor.
“We began this project with the aim of creating a virtual experience honoring those killed in the line of duty by leveraging the ArcGIS technology the county has at its disposal,” said Molique. “The resulting Fallen Public Safety Heroes and Fallen Military Heroes websites allow users to learn about these heroes online while paying respect to their sacrifices as well as the sacrifices of their friends and families.”
The Chesterfield Fallen Public Safety Heroes website may be accessed via the Fire and EMS, Police and the Sheriff webpages. The Chesterfield Fallen Military Heroes website is available on the county’s History webpage.
However, the Fallen Heroes Committee hopes the impact of the new websites extends beyond Memorial Day remembrances.
Said Snead, “It is vital that we keep the memory of these heroes alive and honor the sacrifice they and their families made not only on Memorial Day, but every day of the year.”