Every May 15 by proclamation of the President is Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Peace Officers Memorial Day is a part of Police Week, paying tribute to local, State and Federal law enforcement officers.
Flags are flown at half-staff in memory of those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Services honoring the fallen will be conducted across the country, including Washington, D.C.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. features the names of more than 19,000 law enforcement officers which have been killed in the line of duty.
HOW TO OBSERVE
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Peace Officers Memorial Day was created on October 1, 1961. At that time, Congress asked the president to designate May 15 as a day to honor peace officers. On October 1, 1962, John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law. In 1994, Bill Clinton made an amendment through Public Law 103-322 that directed the United States flag be flown at half-staff on May 15.
In 1982, an annual Memorial Service gathering in Senate Park began and later became known as Police Week.
From Police WeeK: In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.
The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)
National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. In that spirit, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 sponsors receptions each afternoon and evening during Police Week. These events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.