The annual National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Candlelight Vigil is scheduled to be held tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the vigil will be held online.
The virtual broadcast will replace the traditional Candlelight Vigil ceremony held on the National Mall, which annually draws more than 30,000 first responders, survivor families, and law enforcement supporters.
This year's virtual ceremony will include special remarks by more than 50 guests including the Honorable Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Honorable Steny Hoyer, majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; Dermot Shea, New York City police commissioner; Cerelyn J. Davis, national president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; Patrick Yoes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police; Tom Selleck, Joe Mantegna, John Walsh, and the chief executives of some of the nation’s Fortune 500 corporations, all paying tribute to the fallen U.S. law enforcement officers.
During the virtual Candlelight Vigil, the names of each of the 307 men and women that will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial this year will be read aloud in memory of their sacrifice. Those tuning into the vigil can also visit a web app to view the full list of fallen officers, with their name, rank and photo.
“The current health crisis we are facing will not deter us from honoring the fallen,” said National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto. “By holding the annual Candlelight Vigil virtually, we have created an opportunity for the entire nation to light candles and stand in solidarity and support of the surviving families and law enforcement agencies. This is also an opportunity for the public at large to learn about the depth and breadth of the service and sacrifice of American law enforcement.”
Verizon is partnering with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund as lead sponsor and broadcast partner. The live event will be streamed on Verizon Media’s BUILD by Yahoo Series and @VZUpToSpeed Twitter account.
“It's a privilege to partner with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to help support the virtual Candlelight Vigil,” said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “Now more than ever, it's important to keep this powerful tradition alive as we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and celebrate the women and men who risk their lives every day on the front lines to protect our communities.”
With the Candlelight Vigil broadcast virtually, anyone can join the ceremony in solidarity and support. Individuals can embrace the spirit of the Candlelight Vigil by participating in United by Light, where they can pay tribute to a law enforcement officer by lighting a virtual candle in respect, honor, or remembrance. Virtual candles can be lit now to show appreciation for officers serving on the front lines keeping our nation safe during our current health crisis, on May 13 to honor a fallen officer, or any time of year to remember anniversaries, academy graduations, birthdays, special occasions, or just to say thank you for all law enforcement officers do to keep our communities safe.
For more information on the virtual Candlelight Vigil, visit LawMemorial.org.