In the shadow of the Washington Monument and with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building in the foreground, more than 20,000 officers, surviving loved ones, and law enforcement supporters gathered on the National Mall Friday night for a candlelight vigil honoring fallen officers.
The 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil honored 252 officers whose names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, including 123 who died in 2015.
Normally, the vigil is held in the center of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, but it was moved because of construction near the site.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson delivered poignant remarks. Attorney General Lynch and Concerns of Police Survivors National President Brenda Donner led the lighting of candles. Later in the program Attorney General Lynch commenced the reading of the fallen officers’ names.
This annual tribute to the nation’s law enforcement officers has become a signature event of the National Police Week observance in the nation’s capital. The evening’s program also featured moving musical tributes and a special recognition of survivors of fallen officers, as well as some dignitaries and guests.
In addition to the 123 officers who died in 2015, the names of 129 officers, who died in prior years, were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The national monument now contains the names of 20,789 fallen law enforcement officers—from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal, corrections, railroad, and military police agencies—who died in the performance of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known officer death in 1791.
“The 20,789 fallen heroes, whose names are inscribed on the Memorial walls, came from different states, counties and towns across America,” said Craig W. Floyd, president and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “And tonight as we formally dedicate the names of these men and women; we honor their courage and we salute their sacrifice.”
For more information, including the names of officers added this year to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, visit www.LawMemorial.org/2016RollCall. Photos from the Candlelight Vigil are available at www.LawMemorial.org/Photos.
About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,789 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund has begun construction of the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s National Police Week events and activities are supported, in part, by a generous contribution from Target.