May 13 Candlelight Vigil To Honor Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
Attorney General Holder to deliver keynote address as 324 names are dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
May 3, 2010
Washington, DC – The names of 324 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty will be formally dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, during the 22nd Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver the keynote address and lead the lighting of candles and reading of the names of the fallen officers. The 324 officers include 116 who died in the line of duty during 2009—the lowest annual total in five decades—plus another 208 officers who died earlier in history but whose sacrifice had not been previously documented.
Each May 13, an estimated 20,000 people assemble at the Memorial grounds in Judiciary Square for the Candlelight Vigil, part of National Police Week in the nation’s capital. For the second straight year, the ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet so that people across the country can witness this annual tribute to America’s law enforcement officers. Individuals interested in the free webcast can register online at www.LawMemorial.org/webcast.
Dedicated in 1991, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial honors U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Including the officers whose names are being added this year, there are now 18,983 names engraved on the Memorial, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federal law enforcement and military police agencies.
The 116 officers killed in the line of duty in 2009 was the lowest number since 1959, when there were 109 deaths. Between 2008 and 2009, law enforcement fatalities declined by 16 percent, an encouraging development driven by a sharp, 28 percent reduction in the number of officers killed in traffic-related incidents. However, the number of officers killed by gunfire rose last year, from 40 in 2008 to 49 in 2009. The 2009 total included 15 officers who were gunned down in five multiple-fatality shooting incidents in Oakland (CA), Pittsburgh (PA), Okaloosa County (FL), Seminole County (OK) and Lakewood (WA).
“As encouraging as the overall numbers were last year, we remain deeply concerned about the rise in firearms violence against our officers—a trend that, unfortunately, has continued into the first four months of 2010,” said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “On May 13 during our Candlelight Vigil, we honor all of the brave men and women of law enforcement who put the safety and protection of others ahead of their own and who made the ultimate sacrifice in the process. Coming to the ceremony in person or viewing it over the Internet is a way for all Americans to show their appreciation and respect for these heroes,” he said.
The names of the 324 officers being added this year to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial can be found at www.LawMemorial.org/facts. For a complete schedule of National Police Week events in Washington, DC, visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.
NOTE: Media representatives planning to cover the Candlelight Vigil are asked to register for credentials in advance. Go to www.LawMemorial.org/credentials for details. There will be a Media Check-In area on the E Street, NW, side of the Memorial on May 13, where reporters can pick up information and credentials. Space on the camera riser is limited, so television crews should plan to arrive and be set up by 4 pm. Parking is also limited. Contact Kevin Morison, 202-737-7134 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Contact: Kevin Morison