The following is the opinion of the author. It does not necessarily represent the opinion of Police Magazine or its staff or Bobit Business Media.
National Police Week starts Sunday and runs through May 21. This is a sacred time for the men and women of law enforcement, their loved ones, and especially the survivors of fallen officers. It is the time when the lives sacrificed during the previous year are honored and the names of the fallen, which have been carved into the granite of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, are unveiled. It is a somber time, a reflective time filled with unbridled emotion.
Thousands of law enforcement officers from not only the United States but from all over the world have converged on Washington, DC, to show solidarity, respect, and honor for their brothers and sisters who gave their lives for their communities. Among them will be the families of the fallen and their anguish will be a palpable fog of pain as tears of sorrow and loss soak into the hallowed ground. Wives, husbands, parents, and children will silently run their fingers over the names of their fallen loved ones almost as if they were being granted one final touch.
The events surrounding these days of honor are scheduled to begin Friday (May 13) night with the annual Candlelight Vigil, which is held within the center of the Memorial. During the vigil the light from thousands of candles will reflect off of the proudly worn gleaming badges of the assemble company. Tears will unapologetically glide slowly down the faces of these men and women whose practiced stoicism will this night be surrendered.
Law Enforcement and political leaders will address the crowds at a variety of Police Week events. They will speak of honor and of duty. They will talk about integrity and loss and sacrifice. Those chosen to speak will be people of prominence and influence and their words will have power if they are spoken from the heart. If they are not, if they are hollow and bereft of passion, then the words themselves though mechanically correct will be devoid of meaning and in fact insulting.
It is for that reason that I publicly call for banning President Barack Obama from addressing a Police Week gathering of officers, survivors, and supporters. I make this plea with a heart heavy with disappointment and the pain of betrayal. For I believe that our president has not only abandoned the men and women of law enforcement but has actively pursued an agenda that purposefully undermined the American people's trust in those who sacrifice so much for the communities they serve and protect. I am not alone. Untold numbers of law enforcement officers feel as I do. So to allow him the opportunity, the honor of appearing before this gathering would be an affront to the survivors and Law Enforcement Officers throughout the United States.