The names of 701 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty—including 434 who died in 2019 and 2020—will be formally dedicated Thursday night, during the 33rd A nnual Candlelight Vigil. The Vigil will be held on the National Mall and is produced by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
“The stories behind each of the 701 new names that we officially add to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial tonight are so special,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “To pay them proper tribute, each of their names will be read as a part of the ceremony and will be forever etched on the walls of the Memorial and in the hearts of an eternally grateful nation. To them and the families that they represent, and to all law enforcement professionals who serve each day to protect us, thank you.”
When the law enforcement national monument was dedicated 30 years ago, there were more than 12,500 names on its walls. As a special tribute to those men and women, each of their names were read in a final roll call of honor. That tradition is carried forward each year at the Candlelight Vigil as a tribute to our nation’s law enforcement officers and the signature event of National Police Week.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events usually held during National Police Week in May were postponed to Police Weekend 2021, an event that continues this week to offer the same honor, remembrance, and peer support as the extended National Police Week, while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to honor the fallen.
In the law enforcement community, 62 % of deaths in 2020 were a result of COVID-19 (there were 295 deaths in 2020 that the memorial approved and out of 295, 182 were COVID-19. No officers died in 2019 from COVID, as it was not a pandemic and officers were not dying until 2020 when it was labeled a pandemic. Those individuals are now part of the 22,611 fallen law enforcement officers—from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal, corrections, railroad, and military police agencies—who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.
Surviving family members, friends, law enforcement colleagues, and supporters are all encouraged to attend the ceremony in-person at 6pm ET on the National Mall or virtually via Facebook or youtube.com/thenleomf.
"Verizon is proud to honor those that have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect the communities they served. We also honor the families, friends and colleagues who continue to suffer everyday by the loss of these heroes," said Guy Johnson, senior manager of the Public Safety Outreach Program at Verizon, the event’s presenting sponsor.
To find the names of officers added to the Memorial, go here.
For more information, please visit nloemf.org.