NEW CUMBERLAND, Pennsylvania, May 19, 2016 —
The Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Police Force hosted a wreath laying ceremony to pay tribute to local, state, and Federal peace officers who have died in the line of duty on May 18, in the base chapel. Each year, our nation loses between 140-160 law enforcement officers in the line of duty.
Distribution police chief Douglas Schraeder thanked everyone who gathered to show their respect for the men and women who have died in the line of duty nationwide.
“Today we gather to pay respect to those whose names are permanently carved into the marble walls of the National Law Enforcement Memorial,” said Schraeder.
Guest speaker, Thomas Grohol, director of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Pennsylvania Game Commission explained his pride in being one of the messengers to honor those who “gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
“This day is for all of us who make up the law enforcement family,” said Grohol. “Law enforcement officers play an important part of daily life. They are America’s ambassadors of freedom.”
Grohol explained that on average, 1 peace officer is killed every 61 hours. Typically, the leading cause of death is from violent attacks or vehicle accidents. This year 252 names will be added to the memorial. 123 of those names are people who were killed in 2015, the remaining 129 are those who were killed in previous years, but their stories had not yet been told.
Following his presentation, Grohol and Schraeder placed the memorial wreath at the front of the room. Everyone in attendance was then offered the opportunity to place a pink carnation in front of the wreath in honor of the fallen officers.
The ceremony concluded with the playing of “Taps” by Jay Megonnell and the benediction by Reverend Arun Andrews of Trinity United Methodist Church in New Cumberland, Pa. Additionally, everyone remained standing for the playing of “Amazing Grace.”
Across the United States, communities have been honoring police officers, and the sacrifices they make for the safety of our country since 1962, the year President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which is falls as National Police Week.
Each year since 1982, thousands of police officers come together in Washington, D.C., to participate in planned events honoring those that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. National Police Week 2016 began May 15 and concludes May 21.
According to The Officer Down Memorial Page, an independent website, the nationwide statics for fallen officers in 2016 are 35 officers and 12 K9’s killed in the line of duty.
For more information about events open to the public, visit www.policeweek.org.