A Bismarck (N.D.) Police officer honors the fallen at the 2011 Police Week candlelight vigil. Photo: Paul Clinton
The names of 362 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty will be formally dedicated on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., during the 24th annual candlelight vigil on May 13.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will deliver the keynote address and lead the lighting of candles and reading of the names of the fallen officers during the event that's the centerpiece of National Police Week. The 362 officers include 163 who died in the line of duty during 2011 and 199 officers who died earlier in history but whose sacrifice had not been previously documented.
The vigil includes a laser-light show, musical tributes, and the reading of 362 names. A live webcast begins at 8 p.m. May 13. The vigil is at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial E Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, NW Washington, D.C.
Digtinaries include Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General; Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary; Craig Floyd, NLEOMF chairman and CEO; and Linda Moon-Gregory, national president of Concerns of Police Survivors.
Each May 13, an estimated 20,000 people assemble at the Memorial grounds in Judiciary Square for the candlelight vigil, part of National Police Week in the nation's capital. For the fourth straight year, the ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet so that people across the country can witness this annual tribute to America's law enforcement officers.
Dedicated in 1991, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial honors U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Including the officers whose names are being added this year, there are now 19,660 names engraved on the Memorial, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federal law enforcement and military police agencies.
"In 2011, the law enforcement community saw a jump in fatalities for the second year in a row," said Floyd. "Fortunately, we have seen a reversal in that trend thus far in 2012 and peace officer fatalities are currently down 40% from last year.
"On May 13, during our Candlelight Vigil, we honor all of the brave men and women of law enforcement who put the safety and protection of others ahead of their own and who made the ultimate sacrifice in the process," Floyd added. "Coming to the ceremony in person or viewing it over the Internet is a way for all Americans to show their appreciation and respect for these heroes."
For a full list of the names of the 362 officers being added to the memorial this year, click here.