At the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil, 360 fallen police officers were remembered during an emotional tribute.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions led the tribute in Washington DC, reading the names of the heroic officers killed in the line of duty.
The Candelight Vigil is an annual tribute that occurs during National Police Week observance in the US capital. Musical performances also moved the emotional crowd of 30,000 people, many of whom had lost loved ones who were being honored.
So good to have the America’s team, Los Angeles, Colombia, Mexico in Washington D.C for the National Law Enforcement Candlight vigil honouring those who have paid the ultimate and their families @AusFedPolice @AusEmbMex @AusConsulateLA @AusEmbCO pic.twitter.com/4zGTOyVKhj— Grant Edwards (@CmdrAmericas) May 13, 2018
In 2017, 129 officers lost their lives. Some 231 fallen officers killed in the previous year were also commemorated, and their names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this spring.
The vigil was held on the National Mall and produced by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
The national monument now contains the names of 21,541 fallen law enforcement officers who died in the performance of duty since 1791.
“The 21,541 fallen heroes, whose names embrace us this evening, came from different states, counties and towns across America,” Craig W. Floyd, Chief Executive Officer of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, said.
“And tonight as we formally dedicate the names of these men and women; we honor their courage and we salute their sacrifice.”
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day during the nationally celebrated Police Week.
The Memorial Service began in 1982. The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)
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 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.