Special Agent Fights to Build Law Enforcement Memorial in Only State Without One
Denver, CO – A thin blue line runs through the past of Edward Ignacio. This fourth generation Hawaiian began his fascination with law enforcement at a young age as he watched his father, the first police officer in their family, patrol events on the big island. “He would stand guard at the traffic light while the Ironman race was happening in Kona. That was also my first exposure to triathlon.” Decades later, Ed is now a well-seasoned veteran of 21 years, having worked as an officer in Hawaii just as his father did, then later as an agent with the FBI. “We’re known as a Police Family. I have uncles and cousins to this day who are officers all over the state in various departments.” Now, Ed is facing a new mission. Not one of crime prevention or busting drug traffickers, but of remembrance, respect, and closure.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial stands in Washington, D.C. honoring over 19,000 who have died in the line of duty. Together with individual state memorials, they provide a place for the family and friends of fallen officers to pay their respect. These important centers of emotional relief are necessary for a community to grieve when tragedy strikes. Though, even with the important role they play, there is still one state in the union has no such memorial: Hawaii. Now, with Rudy Project supporting Ed with technically advanced helmets, sunglasses, and help spreading the word, he hopes to change that.
“It’s hard, especially when you think of the children who haven’t seen any kind of memorial for their loved ones yet, because there isn’t anything here. If they want to pay their respect, they have to fly nearly 5,000 miles to Washington, D.C., and most don’t have the money to make that kind of trip. We need something here, in our community so that we can reflect and pay honor.”
Having been in Law Enforcement for so long, Edward knows the pain of losing friends, colleagues and family while in the line of duty all too well. “Two of the officers on the list here in Hawaii were buddies of mine who unfortunately died on my wedding day in 1995. They were part of a helicopter rescue operation in the mountains when they crashed. That stuck with me, and it was the wife of one of those officers who spearheaded this movement. That’s why it’s been driving me personally. When I go down the list of others that have passed, I now have known eight other officers who’re on that list. I knew them personally, I know their families, and it’s hard.”
That movement Edward is now raising awareness for, is the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation. Having already secured land from the State of Hawaii, the foundation has also finalized a beautiful design and is now raising funds to begin construction. To bring limelight to this noble cause, Ed is competing in a number of triathlons while wearing Full Tactical Gear including a bullet proof vest and other equipment weighting in at nearly 40 pounds. He plans to race at both the IRONMAN® 70.3 Hawai’i and the IRONMAN® World Championships in October – a brutal 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bicycle ride and finally a full 26.2 mile marathon.
“I’m very proud of my law enforcement background, my family and my community. I want to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and in my own way, I’m doing that through these races. It’s their memories that will power my will until I succeed.”
Rudy Project is proud to support Ed in his race to raise awareness and funds for Hawaii’s first Law Enforcement Memorial. As the Official Helmet of the IRONMAN© for North America, Rudy Project’s Aero helmets will help Ed tackle the intense heat and variable wind conditions of the 112 mile bike ride along the Queen K Highway in Kona during the IRONMAN© World Championships. Rudy Project Sunglasses will also protect Ed from UV rays during his marathon runs. To see the equipment Ed will be racing in, visit www.e-rudy.com
“Ed is a compassionate individual fighting to make a world of difference,” said Paul Craig, President of Rudy Project North America. “Ever since I met him at my first IRONMAN race, I’ve known that he was a rock star working toward the greater good. When Ed introduced me to the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation and told me his story, I knew we had to become involved. I’m just proud that we here at Rudy Project stand behind him and his mission.”
To Learn More about the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, go to: www.hlemf.org
To Donate to Edward’s Campaign, Visit his Fundraiser at:
About Rudy Project
Rudy Project designs and manufactures performance-oriented helmets, sunglasses, goggles and Rx/prescription eyewear solutions by applying advanced science, cutting-edge technology and innovative aesthetics. Designed and crafted in Italy since 1985, Rudy Project has grown quickly as a premier brand throughout North America. Along with proprietary, award-winning lens technologies including ImpactX™, Polar3FX™ and RPOptics™, Rudy Project offers unparalleled customer service backed by a Lifetime Replacement Lens Guarantee and an industry-leading three-year frame warranty.
Learn more about Rudy Project at www.e-rudy.com