by Rachel Terzo
The United States recognizes heroism and bravery by the observance of Memorial Day on May 29. What a lot of citizens don’t know is that police officers have their own holiday dedicated to them as well.
Police Memorial Week, celebrated May 15-21, is a federal holiday that was established for citizens to express their gratitude to those who serve. This holiday honors police officers all over the nation. Although this holiday isn’t as prevalent as Memorial Day, Police Memorial Week recognizes law enforcement agencies all over the nation for their hard work, long hours, and dedication to serving their communities.
The holiday originated in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy declared May 15 as National Police Officers Memorial Day, and the calendar week when May 15 starts as National Police Week. President Bill Clinton passed a law in 1994 that summons for the U.S. flag to fly at half-staff May 15.
Captain of the Wood County Sheriff’s office, Mark King, says, “The most rewarding part of my job is being able to talk to and help children.” When asked the same question, WVU Parkersburg campus police officer Al Collins said, “keeping people safe.”
Since there is currently not an event in Parkersburg scheduled in observance of the holiday, anyone can individually celebrate Police Week May 15-21 to show your appreciation for their local police officers. Police Memorial Day/Week doesn’t have to be celebrated strictly during the designated calendar times.
In 1989, the first annual candlelight vigil was held at the site of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Judiciary Square in Washington, DC. In October 1991, President George Bush dedicated the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. To this day, the memorial contains the names of more than 16,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Promos On-Time has a small selection of gifts for people who have a policeman they want to thank. People may visit http://www.promosontime.com/d/264/national-police-week.htm to browse through different gift selections.
A live candlelight vigil will be held May 13 in observance of Police Appreciation Week. Anyone who is interested in participating may sign up via
e-mail at http://www.nleomf.com/programs/policeweek/.