Washington, DC - Today, the National Fraternal Order of Police and National Auxiliary will gather on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol to honor the 491 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty during 2019 and 2020.
The National FOP and National Auxiliary will host the event, which will feature President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., who will deliver the keynote address.
“We must reflect on these past two years and recognize the grief and fear that has accompanied these challenging and changing times we have faced as a nation due to a pandemic,” said Patrick Yoes, National President. “After a two-year delay due to the pandemic, we are finally able to gather in-person on the West Front of the Capitol to honor our fallen Brothers and Sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community. The sacrifice of these fallen officers and their families will never be forgotten.”
Thousands of officers, as well as the surviving family members and friends of slain officers, have traveled from across the country to the nation’s capital to attend the FOP’s 40th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, which is the nation’s largest and most prominent memorial service held on behalf of fallen law enforcement officers.
“We can measure time, but we cannot measure loss,” said Yoes. “For some, it has been a year; for others, it has been longer. The FOP grieves with all of the surviving families whose lives have been forever changed because of their loved one’s service to protect our communities. We promise to never let these families walk alone. May these heroes rest in peace, and may we say their names often so that their memories may live on.”
Information on This Year’s Event
- FOP National President Patrick Yoes will host the event, which will honor 491 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, including 44 officers who succumbed to illnesses they contracted when they responded to the terrorist attack on 9/11 and 7 fallen officers not previously recognized at this Service.
- These officers come from 42different States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and 10 different Federal and agencies.
History of the Event
- In October of 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation setting aside May 15thas National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. Since the signing of this proclamation, this date has been the official day of recognition for law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the performance of their duty.
- On 15 May 1982, the Fraternal Order of Police and its Auxiliary hosted the First Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service. The ceremony has become nationally recognized, which contributed to the building and dedication of the “Wall of Remembrance” on Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C. Currently, the Wall is inscribed with the names of the more than 22,000 law enforcement officers who have made the supreme sacrifice “to protect and serve” the laws and the citizens of the United States.