Today the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released the roll call of names of 252 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. These names will be engraved next month and formally dedicated at the 28th annual Candlelight Vigil held on the National Mall (between 4th and 7th streets) on Friday, May 13th at 8:00 pm.
Included in this list are the names of 123 officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2015 and 129 officers who were killed in prior years but had been forgotten by time until the Memorial Fund's research staff and a team of dedicated volunteers found record of their law enforcement service. When the addition of these 252 names is completed in late April, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial will bear the names of 20,789 officers representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal law enforcement, and military police agencies—all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our nation's history.
The engraving process begins with a lengthy stencil and proofing procedure conducted before the line of names is cut into the stone on each panel. Next, the first application of Silin stain is applied to the freshly-cut stone to give each letter the necessary color uniformity. Next, the panel is covered and will cure for 24 to 36 hours, weather dependent. The concluding step includes application of a final coat of Silin stain that is applied to the names. The panel is again covered and cured for 24 to 36 hours before final inspection by engravers. Once the inspection is finished, the covers are removed, and the panel is completed. Names will be engraved on 48 of the Memorial's 128 panels encompassing the east and west walls.
Each May 13, an estimated 20,000 people assemble for the annual Candlelight Vigil, a signature event of National Police Week when the names of these fallen officers are formally dedicated. The Vigil is streamed live over the Internet so that people across the country can witness this annual tribute to America's law enforcement officers. Individuals interested in the free webcast can register online at www.UnitedByLight.org.
"The process of meticulously engraving names—252 this year—on the Memorial each spring is big undertaking," said Craig W. Floyd, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. "These officers gave their all protecting our communities and we owe them and their surviving family and friends a huge debt of gratitude."
The names of the 252 officers added to the National Memorial this year can be found at www.LawMemorial.org/2016RollCall. For a complete schedule of National Police Week events in Washington, DC, visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.
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 more than 20,000 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create 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.