Annual Candlelight Vigil Honors 362 Fallen Peace Officers at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Attorney General Eric Holder leads the lighting of candles and reading of fallen officers’ names; including 163 officers killed in the line of duty in 2011 and 199 prior-year fatalities
Washington, DC — The names of 362 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty—including 163 who died in 2011—were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Sunday evening, in Washington, DC’s historic Judiciary Square, during the 24th annual Candlelight Vigil.
U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. delivered poignant keynote remarks and led the lighting of candles and reading of the fallen officers’ names. “As we read these names, we are reminded that our safety too often comes at a devastating price,” he said. “Especially as we observe National Police Week, we are called to reflect upon—and recommit ourselves to confronting—the challenges and threats that our officers face every time they put on the uniform.”
Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, and Linda Moon-Gregory, National President of the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), also participated in the annual tribute to officers who have died in the line of duty, a special part of the National Police Week observance in the nation’s capital.
In addition to the 163 officers who died in 2011, the names of 199 officers, whose deaths had been lost to history until this year, were added to the Memorial. The national monument now contains the names of 19,660 fallen law enforcement officers—from all 50 states; the District of Columbia; U.S. territories; federal law enforcement, corrections, railroad and military police agencies—who have died in the performance of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known officer death in 1791.
“Our law enforcement officers put the safety of our communities and the freedoms we enjoy first, often making personal sacrifices,” said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the non-profit group that maintains the Memorial and is one of the principal organizers of National Police Week each May. “In 2011, the price paid by our heroic and dedicated law enforcement officers was especially high, and the loss felt by their loved ones and colleagues was heavy,” he said. “These heroes died providing for our safety and protection, and their service and sacrifice will always be remembered and honored on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.”
Each May 13, as part of National Police Week, the newly engraved officers’ names are read aloud and formally dedicated on the national Memorial during the Candlelight Vigil. An estimated 20,000 people attend the ceremony in person each year, including surviving family members, friends, law enforcement colleagues and others, and thousands more participate via a live webcast of the ceremony provided by the Memorial Fund and Officer.com.
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For more information, including the names of officers added this year to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, visit www.LawMemorial.org/2012RollCall. Photos from the Candlelight Vigil are available at www.LawMemorial.org/Photos.
About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement officers and to promoting officer safety. The Memorial Fund built and maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, dedicated in 1991. Inscribed on the Memorial walls are the names of 19,660 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.
The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical and contemporary artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information about the Memorial, visit www.LawMemorial.org. To learn more about the upcoming Museum, visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s National Police Week events and activities are supported, in part, by a generous contribution from Target®.
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