Peace offers and the police are a vital part of trying to keep individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities safe and peaceful. The job can be a difficult and stressful one, often coming with a great deal of risk and sacrifice. Law enforcement and peace officers are called to serve and protect their communities, which is an honorable and noble task that is worth celebrating. And those officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty deserve a day of remembrance.
Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week was established more than 60 years ago as an opportunity to honor and remember the heroes and fallen officers who live to make the world a better place for everyone involved.
History of Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week
In 1962, National Peace Officers Memorial Day was proclaimed to be on May 15 by US President John F. Kennedy. Along with the day, the calendar week in which the day falls has been considered to be Police Week. In the many years since that time, the tradition of celebrating this day and week has been continued by a number of different presidents.
While the Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week is officially sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), it is also supported and celebrated by a number of different organizations, agencies and groups throughout the country.
Since the late 1980s, along with the celebration of this week, a candlelight vigil has been held annually to honor fallen officers. The ceremony is put on by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
How to Celebrate Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week
Whether impacted personally by the protection or loss of a peace officer or police, or simply desiring to offer support to the community, Peace Offers Memorial Day and Police Week is a great time to get involved and show appreciation. Check out some of these ideas for participating in this event:
Light a Candle of Hope
Individuals spread throughout the nation can participate in the Annual Candlelight Vigil by lighting a real candle at home as well as a “virtual” candle online with a small donation. It’s also possible to send a message of hope and healing at the same time, through the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund organization website.
Thank a Peace Officer
Those who are related to, work with or have a friend who is a police or peace officer may want to mark Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week by saying thank you. Tell them how much their services and sacrifice are appreciated and perhaps buy them a cup of coffee or lunch just to say thanks.
Participate in Police Week Events
In honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, local groups of the FOP may host various events and ceremonies that encourage the community to participate, remember and support police and peace officers. This might include unity tours, guard competitions, survivors conferences, memorial services, wreath laying ceremonies, community events and many other activities. Check out the National Police Week website for more information. It is also possible to read the Roll Call of Heroes on this same site.