Tag Archives: Peace Officers Memorial Day

How to Honor Peace Officers

peace officers

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Being a policeman isn’t easy, and these days, many policemen are underappreciated for the risks and difficulties they face every day on the job. The rise of gangs, drugs and other illegal activities over the years has put policemen in the line of fire from just about every direction. Every year, policemen are killed during the line of duty, and it’s up to all Americans to honor their memories and sacrifices, as they have given their all to protect common citizens from the reckless and oftentimes cruel intent of others.

Peace Officers Memorial Day is observed on May 15th of every year, since its inception in 1961. It’s meant to be a day when all law enforcement personnel are recognized and honored for their dedication to duty, whether they belong to the local police department, or the Texas Rangers. The day recognizes those who serve on the streets and those who serve behind their desks, as well as detectives, crime scene technicians and prison guards. It’s a day to honor the dedication of those who wear a badge in some capacity, and to reflect on their duty to protect the innocent from the vagaries of human cruelty and thoughtlessness.

For most Americans, recognition and observance of the day is done privately, as it’s not a traditional holiday where people get the day off. Local law enforcement facilities don’t take the day off, as police officers are always on duty, but local communities often hold platforms where speeches and memorials to fallen peace officers are offered. The official observance of the day is held in Washington D.C., where the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall serves to remind all Americans of the ultimate price paid by many peace officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. The wall contains the name of over 15,000 law enforcement officers who have been killed while performing their duty to protect the lives of innocent men, women and children. The terrorist attacks on New York City’s world trade centers in 2001 caused citizens around the country to more fully appreciate the dedication and sacrifices that many law enforcement officers endured as they entered the burning and collapsing buildings along with fire department personnel in an effort to save as many lives as possible.

Peace Officers Memorial Day is part of a weeklong recognition of law enforcement personnel’s service to communities throughout the nation that is held every May from the 12th to the 18th. Flags are flown at half-staff to honor those who have given their all to protect the rights, property and lives of all citizens, regardless of social status or race. In many communities, groups of school children of all ages visit their local police and sheriff’s departments, offering personally made thank you cards and posters, banners and signs to those who serve to protect them.

In 2003, President George W. Bush created a USA Freedom Corps that enables citizen volunteers to help buttress the efforts of local law enforcement facilities and to help in creating Crime Watch neighborhoods within their communities. Citizens and police officers work together to lower crime rates and prevent a rise in drug or gang activity within their city limits and town borders. Volunteers in local police organizations number in the tens of thousands in communities around the United States. President Bush also proclaimed that May 15th would continue to be recognized and honored as Peace Officers Memorial Day and that the week in which it fell as ‘Police Week’. The support of local citizens and organizations in every community makes a big difference for law enforcement personnel, who often find themselves unappreciated, underpaid and understaffed. There are few job or career positions that are as dangerous as law enforcement work. Police officers and their counterparts put their lives on the line every day when they arrive to work.

It’s up to American citizens to recognize and honor the dedication of such officers, and to provide support. The pursuit of law and order has been a need since the beginning of time, and Americans are fortunate that every generation provides strong and determined individuals who are willing to risk their lives to protect common citizens from acts of violence.

How to Celebrate Police Week

Honoring the Men in Blue during Police Week

Every day, thousands of policemen and women put their lives on the line to protect citizens of the United States of America. The men in blue, as they’re often called, help to ensure that law and order is maintained in every town, city and county, and it doesn’t matter if that county is in ice-bound Alaska or an Everglades swamp in Florida.

Law and order has been an issue that every civilization has had to deal with down through the centuries, and America isn’t any different. Instead of town marshals carrying six-guns, we now have sheriff’s offices and police departments to take care of any legal problem that may occur in a town or on outlying roads and highways. As the population in the United States has grown, so have the needs of police departments everywhere. The dedication to duty and risks that police officers take on a daily basis is recognized and honored during Police Week every year, an event that officially began in 1962 and which is still observed to this day.

President John F. Kennedy officially signed a proclamation in 1962 designating May 15th of every year as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week that surrounds it as Police Week. Police Week isn’t only an event for law enforcement personally to honor and observe in our nation’s capital, but one that every citizen in the United States can participate in as well. Every year, thousands of law enforcement personnel from different branches of law enforcement and states converge on Washington D.C. for events that honor those who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

The first nationally recognized Police Officers Memorial service was observed in the early 1980’s. A little over a hundred people attended that event, held in Senate Park in Washington D.C., to honor ninety one police officers who had died in the line of duty. By the 21st century, over three thousand fallen police officers have been memorialized and honored at this same event, which now draws thousands of visitors, family members of the fallen, and law enforcement personnel from around the nation. The day, marked by speeches and memorials, is a somber event, capped by a candlelight vigil.

Police Officer Week also draws attention to the needs of surviving family members of those whose loved ones have been killed in the line of duty, and the event also offers seminars and counseling sessions to answer questions and to provide help and support for those suffering the loss of a police officer from within the family. Attention is also focused on young people, encouraging them to realize that police officers are trained to promote peace and safety among civilians. Whether Americans agree to every rule and statute within their city or county or not, it must be recognized that a police officer is bound to protect the lives of the innocent and rules must be enforced to limit illegal and dangerous activities.

Whether police officers wear undercover clothing, riot gear, bulletproof vests or business suits doesn’t matter. They are all sworn to protect the lives of innocent people who are sometimes at the mercy of criminals who have no regard for law or peace. A police officer, no matter which branch of law enforcement he or she holds, is often expected to deal with dangerous and deadly criminals that would otherwise endanger Americans in their homes, their place of work, and their schools. It is up to Americans everywhere to honor and appreciate the dedication to duty that allows police officers to place their lives on the lines for strangers in order to live up to that oath.

Police Week is a time when everyone, young and old, goes out of their way to say “Thank You” to their men in blue.