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May 10th, 2023

What is Peace Officer Memorial Day?

Peace Officer Memorial Day and Police week, which is observed on May 15th every year, pays tribute to local, state, and federal police officers that have died or who have been disabled in the line of duty. 

This holiday began in October, 1961, when congress authorized President John F. Kennedy to designate the fifteenth of May as Peace Officer Memorial Day and the calendar week of May 15th as Police Week. 

The event takes place in Washington D.C. and centers on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall. The monument features the names of law enforcement officers that have been killed in the line of duty. Events during Police week include Blue Mass, Candlelight Vigil, Wreath Laying Ceremony, National Police Survivors Conference and the formal memorial on May 15th. Between 25,000 and 40,000 law enforcement officers, their families, and visitors attend this event each year. 

In 1994 Bill Clinton amended the original proclamation ordering that flags fly at half-staff on May 15th.  Flags fly at half-staff on Peace Officer Memorial Day except when it lands on Armed Forces Day. In the event Armed Forces Day lands on May 15th, as it did in 2021 and again in 2027, flags fly at full staff.

This is a perfect time to show support to law enforcement personnel.

How to Honor Peace Officers

  • Consider delivering something off at your local police station. Ideas include protein bars, gift cards, snack packs, treats for K9 Officers, bottled water or Gatorade. 
  • Drop or mail a note of appreciation to your local police station. 
  • Write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper voicing your support.
  • Post support on social media.
  • Fly a blue line flag or display a blue ribbon.
  • Use a blue lightbulb on your porch.
  • Anonymously pay for a meal at a restaurant or discreetly pay for their coffee.
  • If a business, offer special discounts to law enforcement officers. 

There are so many ways to honor law enforcement officers, what ideas do you have?

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