Washington, DC - Today, the National Fraternal Order of Police, along with friends, fellow officers, and survivor families, will assemble on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol to honor the 563 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. The 41st Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service is the capstone event of National Police Week.
“Today, we gather together to share our grief, to cherish the memories of our lost loved ones and to honor their service,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.
National President Yoes will host the service which will feature a keynote address by the President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
“The surge of violence in our communities, the targeted violence against law enforcement officers, and the pandemic all contributed to making 2021 the deadliest years on record for law enforcement officers,” said President Yoes. “This year we will be honoring 563 brave law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2021 while serving their communities.”
During National Police Week, thousands of law enforcement officers in every region and corner of the country gather at memorial services to honor their fallen brothers and sisters. More than 25,000 officers, as well as the surviving family members and friends of slain officers, are expected to be in the nation’s capital to attend the 41st Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, which remains the nation’s largest and most prominent memorial service held on behalf of fallen law enforcement officers.
“To the officers who served with a fallen brother or sister—we share your sorrow; to the family whose loved one’s name is engraved on the Wall of Remembrance, we honor their memories and we will never, ever let you walk alone,” Yoes said.
Information on this year’s Event
- FOP National President Patrick Yoes will host the event, which will honor 563 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. These officers come from 39 different States, Puerto Rico and numerous Federal agencies.
- Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States, is the keynote speaker for the event.
- Country music artist Adam Doleac will perform a musical tribute.
- Attendance is expected to exceed 25,000.
History of the Event:
- In October of 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation establishing 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. The Wall is inscribed with the names of the more than 20,000 law enforcement officers who have made the supreme sacrifice “to protect and serve” the laws and the citizens of the United States.
Facts about Law Enforcement Officer Line of Duty Deaths
- A total of 563 officers lost their lives in the line of duty in 2021.
- Of the 63 deaths by gunfire suffered by law enforcement in 2021, 30 of them were ambush killings.
- Since the first recorded police death in 1792, there have been more than 23,000 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
- The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 2021 when 563 officers lost their lives in the line of duty, the majority of which were from COVID-19 or related illness.
- The deadliest decade was the 1920s when a total of 2,529 officers died, or 253 each year.
- The deadliest day in law enforcement history was 11 September 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on the United States.