The names of 360 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty—including 129 who died in 2017—were formally dedicated on Sunday evening, during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil, held on the National Mall and produced by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Memorial Fund Chairman John Ashcroft delivered poignant remarks. The Attorney General then commenced the reading of the fallen officers' names. Later in the program Attorney General Sessions and Concerns of Police Survivors National President Cheryl Schultz led the lighting of candles.
The Candlelight Vigil—an annual tribute to our 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. The event concluded with the lighting of candles.
In addition to the 129 officers who died in 2017, the names of 231 officers who died in prior years were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this spring. The national monument now contains the names of 21,541 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 21,541 fallen heroes, whose names embrace us this evening, came from different states, counties and towns across America," said Craig W. Floyd, Chief Executive Officer 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."
An estimated 30,000 people attended the ceremony in person, including surviving family members, friends, law enforcement colleagues, and others. Thousands more participated via a live webcast of the ceremony. Supporters dedicated virtual candles participating in the Memorial Fund's United By Light campaign, with viewing events hosted across the country.
Note: In tribute to American law enforcement officers, as part of the historic crime bill that President Clinton signed into law in 1994, Public Law 103-322 designates Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15) as one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half-staff. The other is Memorial Day.
For more information, including the names of officers added this year to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, visit www.LawMemorial.org/2018RollCall.