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National Law Enforcement Memorial Week begins May 15

This upcoming week will be business as usual for most of you, and you may not even be aware that a huge celebration will be taking place in Washington, DC and in most towns and cities across the nation.

The week starting May 15, 2011, begins National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Week. This is a federally-recognized event signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 to recognize and honor those police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty serving the citizens of this country. It was not until May 15, 1982, that the first National Peace Officers Memorial Service was held.

Washington, DC activities during National Police Week now include the annual Candlelight Vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and COPS’ National Police Survivors Seminar as well as the National Police Officers Memorial Day Service. Law enforcement officers and officials from all across the nation converge on Washington, DC to honor this celebration in memory of the brave men and women of law enforcement who lost their lives in the line of duty. In 2010, 161 officers lost their lives protecting the citizens of their cities and towns, and 69 have died so far this year.

In 1994, the 103rd Congress amended Public Law 87-726, to include directing that all flags flown on government buildings be flown at half staff on May 15 of each year in honor of National Police Week.

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