On October 1, 1962, President John Kennedy signed into law, Joint Resolution 76, designating May 15th of each year as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day to honor those Peace Officers who have died in the line of duty. It further states that the week in which May 15th falls will be designated as Police Week.
The reasons given for the need to have these two special times set aside are:
- Whereas the police officers of America have worked devotedly and selflessly in behalf of the people of this Nation, regardless of the peril or hazard to themselves; and
- Whereas these officers have safeguarded the lives and property of their fellow Americans; and
- Whereas by the enforcement of our laws, these same officers have given our country internal freedom from fear of the violence and civil disorder that is presently affecting other nations;
- Whereas these men and women by their patriotic service and their dedicated efforts have earned the gratitude of the Republic.
There are many memorial services during Police Week which capture a great deal of attention. They tend to focus on those who have paid the ultimate price for the protection of American’s lives and property. They are indeed true heroes.
But we should not forget and should also honor in our services all those who have been injured, some permanently and severely, as well as those who will bear the memories, horrors and joys of a career in law enforcement.
Here is the entire Joint Resolution.
Be safe and watch out for each other.
Mark Koberstein, President, Clackamas County Peace Officer’s Benevolent Foundation