Learn more about the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund here
WASHINGTON, D.C.. (WCTV) - Starting Wednesday, May 11, thousands of law enforcement and survivors of the fallen will arrive in our nation’s capital for national police week.
Due to COVID-19 deaths, 2021 marked the deadliest year for law enforcement since 9/11.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as “National Peace Officers Day” and the week around it as “National Police Officers Week.”
Twenty-two years later, construction began in Judiciary Square in D.C. for a memorial to recognize those killed in the line of duty.
Opening in 1991, that memorial has more than 22,000 names from the 1800s to 2020.
Each name goes through a strict review process to determine it’s an official line of duty death.
On Friday, May 13, during the memorial’s annual candlelight vigil, 611 more names will be added to that wall.
Six are from the Big Bend and South Georgia.
“When a COVID case comes to us, we do all the background work and we do a really good job in linking their prior two weeks, prior to contracting COVID, to the fact that they were on-duty and they were working,” Marcia Ferranto, the CEO of the National Law Officers Memorial Fund said.
As the memorial continues recognizing those who became sick years after 9-11, Ferranto said COVID may become the same, honoring those who died from lingering effects.
Besides the memorial wall, in 2018, the fund also opened a museum to honor and tell the stories of American law enforcement.
To learn more about the National Law Officers Memorial Fund and Museum, follow this link.
To learn more about National Police Week 2022, head to this page.
You can learn more about where you can watch Friday’s candlelight vigil here.
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