Communities across the United States will come together during National Police Week, May 12-18, to honor and remember those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.
This year, the names of 320 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. These 320 officers include 119 officers who were killed during 2012, plus 201 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.
Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman said, “Our mission statement is the protection of the public’s life and property and maintenance of public peace and lawful social order. I feel very honored to serve as sheriff to these highly dedicated and very capable law enforcement officers.”
The names of all 320 fallen officers nationwide were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington during the 25th annual candlelight vigil on May 13. So that people across the country can experience the ceremony, the vigil will be webcast live over the Internet starting at 7 p.m. on May 13. To register for the free online event, visit LawMemorial.org/webcast.
The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2013. The national observance is organized by a group of organizations led by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), Concerns of Police Survivors, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.
On May 15 each year, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary host a ceremony on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol to honor fallen law enforcement officers and their families.
In tribute to American law enforcement officers and at the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half staff.