Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Honored During National Police Week

When your goal is to serve and protect, there’s a possibility you’re going to find yourself in the line of fire.

That’s the way it’s always been for police officers. But today it has become more dangerous than ever to be a cop.

An average of 150 police officers are killed in the line of duty every year in America. Some of those deaths occur in ambushes, where officers do not even have a chance to defend themselves.

National Police Week is a way to honor our law enforcement officers. It is being held this year from May 13th – 19th.

It Began with Peace Officers Memorial Day

National Police Week was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. It is held in conjunction with the May 15 Peace Officers Memorial Day.

The week includes many events to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

And police officers from around the world come to Washington D.C. to take part in these events every year.

The organizers of the week include the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, the Fraternal Order of Police and Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, and the Concerns for Police Survivors.

Tens of Thousands Attend Week-Long Events

“Blue Mass” is one of the events held during this week. First responders gather to remember contributions of those who have served in law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Also, a Candlelight Vigil is held during which the names of fallen officers are read, plus a memorial service.

A conference includes guest speakers and a Kids/Teens program for children of fallen officers. Also scheduled is a 5K walk/run. And a Washington Nationals Law Enforcement Appreciation Night.

The event draws between 25,000 and 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from a wide variety of police departments in the U.S. and other countries.

5-Year-Old Boy Honors Local Police

Of course, people don’t need to travel to Washington, D.C. once a year to honor police officers.

Some folks – including young children – use their creativity to find ways to pay their respect.

One of them is a 5-year-old boy from Henderson, Nevada. He was selling lemonade at a stand outside his home recently in order to save up for a new box of Legos.

But then he got to thinking… why not show police officers how much they are appreciated by using the money in a different way.

Mom Surprised and Proud

The boy wound up raising $425 for the families of fallen officers. His mother was both surprised and elated.

“He wanted to do it because he wanted to support police officers,” she told Fox News.

“As a mom, that’s what you want to hear from your child. You want to know that they have empathy, that they’re thinking of others.

“It gets me a little teared up when I talk about it because I’m so proud that he has that in him.”

Local Police Show Their Appreciation

If that would have been the end of the story, it would have been a feel-good moment to be treasured.

But officers at the local police department decided they wanted to say “thank you” to the boy in a tangible way.

So, they gave him an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of their station. The youngster was able to sit behind the wheel of a SWAT vehicle and meet the K-9 squad.

One of the officers said about the boy, “Somebody that has that kind of a heart already at 5 is just going to make an awesome officer.”

Ways to Honor Your Local Police

In the past, some communities have held cookouts to honor and thank their local law enforcement officers. Police departments in Houston, Texas and Madison, Wisconsin have held events featuring tours, music, food and festivities.

Other communities have organized 5K runs, golf tournaments, and even block parties.

Last year, the White House officially went “blue” in honor of National Police Week.

What can you do to show your appreciation this week? The simplest way might be to stop next time you see a police officer and thank him or her for their service. I’m guessing your gesture will be much appreciated.

What’s Your Story?

Have you ever had an encounter with a police officer that gave you a newfound respect for law enforcement officials?

If so, leave a comment below! We’d love to hear your story.

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