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NEA Commemorates Dedication of National Memorial to Fallen Educators

NEA President Van Roekel attends ceremony honoring educators who sacrificed their lives for others

WASHINGTON - June 12, 2014 -

EMPORIA, Kan.—Educators and supporters joined together today to dedicate a National Memorial to Fallen Educators on the campus of Emporia State University, the site of The National Teachers Hall of Fame. National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel attended the event, which memorializes educators who gave their lives for their profession.

“I think of how many students’ lives have been touched by all of these great educators,” said Van Roekel. “Those students might forget some of the things they learned in the classrooms—but they’ll never forget how they were inspired and their love of learning ignited. Educators really do change lives.”

NEA is a proud partner of The National Teachers Hall of Fame, which works to elevate the profile and prestige of the teaching profession and school staff. NEA supports the National Memorial to Fallen Educators, “which will also remind us of the love and commitment of educators, as exemplified by those who gave their lives to protect their students,” said Van Roekel.

Attendees of the dedication included Emporia State University President Dr. Michael Shonrock; Emporia Mayor Jon Geitz; Ruthanne Buck, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education; and representatives from the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA).

“Kansas teachers are proud that The National Teachers Hall of Fame and National Memorial to Fallen Educators are located in our home state,” said KNEA President Karen Godfrey. “With dedication and honor, teachers across the nation serve students and shape the future. This memorial helps us to keep perspective on those who came before and gave so much to better the lives of students.”

The National Teachers Hall of Fame was founded in Emporia, Kan., in 1989 to honor career educators—and the teaching profession—through a recognition program and museum. For more information on memorial and the Hall of Fame, please go to

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The National Education Association ( is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

Media Contacts

Sara Robertson

Marcus Baltzell