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:
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.
“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.”
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.