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Reminder: Fly Flags At Half Staff On May 15, National Peace Officers Memorial Day

A fitting tribute to the 19,660 law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice throughout U.S. history

May 15, 2012

Washington, DC—Question: On what two days does federal law require American flags to be flown at half staff? Answer: Memorial Day (last Monday in May) and May 15, Peace Officers Memorial Day.

This tribute to American law enforcement officers is part of the historic crime bill that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994. At the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates Peace Officers Memorial Day as one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half staff.

“Just as we honor those who died in military service each Memorial Day, our nation pauses each May 15th to show its appreciation for the more than 19,000 men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our communities and safeguarding our democracy here at home,” said Craig W. Floyd, Memorial Fund Chairman and CEO. “Lowering flags to half staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day is also a way to remember the family members, friends and colleagues these brave American heroes left behind.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The calendar week in which May 15 falls is National Police Week; this year’s commemoration occurs May 13-19.

As part of National Police Week, the names of 163 law enforcement officers killed in 2011, as well as 199 officers who died in prior years, were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., on May 13, during the 24th Annual Candlelight Vigil.

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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 maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains 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

Steve Groeninger | (202) 737-7135