Thursday, May 15, 2008

National Peace Officers' Memorial Day

Today is National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, a day that was designated along with National Police week - the week in which May 15th falls - by President John F. Kennedy on October 1, 1962 when he signed Public Law 87-726 into affect. It wasn’t until May 15th, 1982, however, that the first National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Service was held in Washington D.C.

The 27th Annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Day Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, will be held today at noon on the West Front Lawn of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Following the two hour service, the Wreath Laying Service will be held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial which was dedicated in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.

In a special proclamation issued on the 9th of May, President George W. Bush stated the following:

“Across our Nation, law enforcement officers carry the great responsibility of protecting their fellow citizens. On Peace Officers' Memorial Day and during Police Week, we honor these brave public servants who fight crime, violence, and terrorism, and we pay homage to the heroes who have fallen in the line of duty.

With valor and devotion, our country's law enforcement officers stand watch on the front lines and help make our communities safer and more secure. Fulfilling their duties with courage and commitment, they work tirelessly and put themselves in harm's way, exemplifying the good and decent character of America.

As we observe Peace Officers' Memorial Day and Police Week, we pause to pay tribute to those who serve in law enforcement. On this occasion, we especially remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and we pray for the families and friends they have left behind. We thank all the extraordinary American men and women who have answered the call to serve in law enforcement for their commitment to justice and to their communities.”

Last year, 181 federal, state and local law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty, one of the highest fatality figures in recent memory. As of this writing, 37 men and women have died in the line of duty during 2008 – 14 of them in the month of January alone. The numbers are staggering, the deaths heart-wrenching, and the losses stunning to the families, departments, and communities of those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I would ask you to join President Bush, those who have gathered in Washington, and myself in taking a few moments today to remember and thank the more than 17,500 Peace Officers who have been killed in the line of duty dating back to the first known death in 1792, as well as those Peace Officers who continue to protect and serve in communities throughout the United States.

Thank you one and all for your dedication and fortitude and may God bless you and protect you as you carry out your duties. Stay safe out there.

10 comments:

  1. The women & men who have the courage to put on a uniform and go out there every day to protect us from ourselves and others have my deepest respect and my endless thanks. I'll certainly pause to remember the one and the many whom we honor today, this week and always.

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  2. It takes a special kind of person to serve and protect each and every day. They have my utmost respect.

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  3. Amen! Dear Officers, thank you for your service and stay safe!

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  4. It's a good day that we should all respect.

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  5. Peace Officers. Ah. What a nice ring. Thanks for reminding us.

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  6. I could NEVER do what these men and women do on a daily basis even if I was forced to. It's amazing to me that they CHOOSE to do this to protect us.

    Amazing-thank you for sharing this as I wouldn't have known about it before...

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  7. Will do... Have a great weekend y'all!

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  8. Darn! I forgot to write about this on my blog. My friend made it to Washington D.C. on the Police Unity Bike Tour. He and his family took part in this event. I'm so proud of him and all of our police officers.

    Great post!

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  9. Thank you for this post, Linda!
    Thank you to all of our Peace Officers!

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