May 15 was Peace Officers Memorial Day, a day when we pause to give thanks to law enforcement officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty.
As veterans, we understand the courage it takes to provide security, rush into harm’s way and keep Americans safe. The sacrifices made by our law enforcement officers deserve to be honored.
It’s something we owe to our brave heroes - and their families.
Perhaps it is fitting that a veteran and Legionnaire - President John F. Kennedy - initiated Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962 when he signed a proclamation designating the day.
As part of Police Week, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers have gathered in Washington, D.C., to participate in events to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The majority of those events are related to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall. The memorial features the names of more than 21,100 law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
While the deaths of some officers in the line of duty receive more media attention than others, all are to be remembered. And, sadly, there are far too many who will be honored for the first time this year.
Let us all pause today to remember these heroes. At the same time, our thoughts should be with them more frequently than just every May 15.
Our nation’s law enforcement officers dedicate their lives to defending us from enemies on our own soil, providing critical relief during disasters and keeping our neighborhoods safe as we enjoy the comforts of civilian life.
Commander of American Legion Sevier Valley Post 37