Two Generations Of Ownership Dedicate Cemetery As A
Vehicle To Keep Fresh The Memory Of Those Who Lose
Their Lives Protecting Their Fellow Citizens


John W. Armiger (1916 – 1985)

John Armiger, an attorney specializing in zoning cases, founded Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in 1958 in Timonium, Maryland. From the beginning, Mr. Armiger was determined to position the cemetery as a vehicle to honor, and focus attention on, the sacrifices made by Maryland’s Public Safety Personnel as well as to recognize Marylanders killed in action while serving in our nation’s armed forces.

Mr. Armiger’s life, along with most of his generation, was shaped by his service in World War II. In 1940 Mr. Armiger joined Maryland’s 5TH Regiment, the “Dandy Fifth”, anticipating the coming war and wanting to choose his affiliation prior to being drafted. Before embarking to England, Mr. Armiger was detailed to the “Army War Show” which was a massive presentation that

played many of the stadia around the nation designed to educate and to sell war bonds.

The Field of Honor reserved for honorably discharged veterans was dedicated in June 1968. The Circle of the Immortals, reserved for Marylanders killed-in-action, is the main feature in the Field of Honor. Inspired by his very high regard for the men and women serving in our nation’s military, Mr. Armiger committed Dulaney Valley to sponsor a traditional Memorial Day ceremony on the fourth Monday in May. The tradition continues to this day.

In 1993, the Children of Liberty Memorial was dedicated to service personnel killed by terrorists; and in 1998, the Baltimore County Korean War/WW II Memorial was established as a gift by the cemetery to the citizens of Baltimore County.

In 1976 Mr. Armiger was the first to create a significant memorial to Maryland’s first responders killed in-the-line-of-duty. A portion of the cemetery was set aside providing burial lots for each Fallen Hero and their spouse free of charge. The Fallen Heroes Memorial provides a lasting tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving the citizens of Maryland. Former Baltimore County Police Chief Neil Behan described the Fallen Heroes Memorial as “our Arlington.”

The groundwork, which led to the creation of Fallen Heroes Day and the popular Memorial Day observance, was completely the result of planning and inspiration provided by Mr. John Armiger.


John W. Armiger, Jr. (1944 –  )

John W. Armiger, Jr. grew up in the Rodgers Forge and Ruxton areas of Baltimore County, Maryland. Having graduated from the Gilman School in Baltimore, he went on to attend Yale University completing a degree program in American Studies. He subsequently joined the faculty at Gilman teaching history and political science. His affinity for American history is evident from his extensive collection of 18th and 19th century American memorabilia.

In 1976, John joined his father at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens and subsequently became president of the cemetery in 1978.

After burying three Baltimore County firefighters at the Fallen Heroes Memorial in 1984, John felt compelled by the emotional impact to attempt, on a regular basis, to honor the members of Maryland’s public safety community in a service similar to Memorial Day.

The result was Fallen Heroes Day – first observed on May 16, 1986. The modest memorial service has gained momentum since its inception, and now the ceremony is recognized as Maryland’s “ceremony”, annually drawing well over 1,000 attendees to remember those individuals whose life was lost in service to the state. Each ceremony, held on the first Friday in May, remembers

and honors all Fallen Heroes, with special attention given to those who died in the twelve months since the previous Fallen Heroes Day.

John Armiger, Jr. is a humble individual who takes great pride in the service of America’s unsung heroes. His commitment to recognizing the sacrifice they make each and every day has not gone unnoticed by Maryland’s military and public safety personnel. Although he strives to stay out of the limelight, his actions speak loud and clear.