A candlelight vigil Sunday night offered a somber dedication ceremony at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in northwest D.C.
WASHINGTON – A candlelight vigil Sunday night offered a somber dedication ceremony at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in northwest D.C.
For those who couldn’t be at the memorial, which began at 8 p.m., it was broadcast online here.
The vigil was one of many ceremonies honoring those police officers who have died in the line of duty over the past year as part of National Police Week.
May 15 was designated Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. The week in which that date falls each year becomes National Police Week.
Events for National Police Week continue through May 16. See planned events here.
“We’ll be dedicating 362 names of officers who died in the line of duty,” says Steve Groeninger, senior director for the memorial.
“That includes 163 officers who died in 2011 and 199 officers who died in years prior to that,” he says.
One of the 163 names is that of Virginia Tech University Police Officer Deriek Crouse. He killed Dec. 8, 2011 while making a traffic stop on campus. He was the father of five.
During this year’s “Police Unity Tour,” which wrapped up Saturday at the memorial, two local police officers were riding on behalf of Officer Crouse (Fairfax County Police Officer Rodney Barnes and Special Agent Kevin Whalen with the U.S. Treasury Department).
The Police Unity Tour started in 1997 with 18 bike riders and this year there were 1,400 riders. The officers ride hundreds of miles during three days raising awareness of law enforcement officers who’ve died in the line of duty and also raising money for the memorial.
There are nearly 20,000 names of fallen officers on the memorial’s walls.