Work is due to start on a new £4.5 million memorial honouring police officers and staff killed in the line of duty since the 18th century.
The UK Police Memorial will stand at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, commemorating all personnel who have lost their lives since the 1749 formation of the Bow Street Runners.
On Friday, the fathers of two Greater Manchester Police officers killed on duty, Pc Fiona Bone and Pc Nicola Hughes, will take part in the ground-breaking ceremony.
Pc Hughes, 23, of Saddleworth, and Pc Bone, 32, from Sale, were murdered by Dale Cregan in a gun and grenade ambush after being lured to a house in Mottram in Longdendale, Tameside, on September 18, 2012.
The physical memorial, due to be completed in 2021, will complement an existing online digital memorial, launched in November last year, to the more than 4,200 officers and police staff who have died on duty.
Sir Hugh Orde, chairman of the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust, said: “The National Memorial Arboretum is the place where all our services are remembered throughout the year.
“A place where people come for quiet acts of contemplation and reflection and a place where large-scale acts of remembrance take place.
“Yet there is no fitting tribute here that honours those brave men and women from our police service who have given their lives to protect us all – a tribute that is in keeping with the scale of loss that our police service has suffered over the years.
Sadly there are some that won’t return home at the end of their shift.
“Today is the day that we change that.
“How fitting that today’s ground-breaking will be carried out by Paul Bone and Bryn Hughes, whose daughters were shot and killed whilst responding to a routine 999 call, eight years ago.
“When we set out on this ambitious project in 2015 we had no idea how challenging it would be. Along the way we have overcome many hurdles and setbacks.
“But after five years of determination, amazing support and dedicated fundraising we have finally reached the position where construction of the new memorial can start.”
“We have only been able to reach this point thanks to the generosity of individual benefactors, businesses, grant-makers, Government, police forces, staff associations and the wider public.
“I and my fellow trustees are so grateful for all the support and tremendous fundraising that has taken place.”
The new open-air memorial has been designed by Walter Jack and will include two low screens bearing the names of 2,000 police officers and staff, as well as spaces for reflection.
Sir Hugh, who is former chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, added: “The last few months have demonstrated to us all that we live in an uncertain world.
“Yet something we can be certain of, is that every day police officers will go out to patrol our cities, towns and villages, not knowing the dangers that they are likely to face or confront.
“Sadly there are some that won’t return home at the end of their shift.
“Their courage and sacrifice will now be commemorated and remembered forever here at the National Memorial Arboretum.”