All photos courtesy of Dale Stockton, Editor, Law Officer
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PoliceOne Report from the Activities
Law Officer Editor Dale Stockton recently attended the 2005 National Police Week activities. “This is a deeply moving time for the scores of survivors and officers who make the pilgrimage to Washington and the millions of supporters who can’t, but are there in spirit,” he told PoliceOne. “For me, looking at Yvonne Sawyers and her toddler daughter brought the impact of Police Week home.” Last June, Yvonne’s husband, Mark, a Michigan officer with less than 5 years on the job, was executed by a shotgun blast to the head while he sat in his patrol car writing a report. The killer’s motive was enragingly simple: he wanted to replace the unwieldy sawed-off shotgun he’d been using to rob banks with a handgun and he knew a cop would have one.
“The shock and pain Yvonne experienced are unimaginable,” says Stockton, “but the resilience she showed by being there, side-by-side with the other survivors, was more impressive than words can accurately express.”
Stockton, a career officer himself, has attended five National Police Week events. “They’re never easy, but they’re always awe-inspiring,” he says. “I continue to be struck by the unbelievable outpouring of respect and support shown for our fallen. Officers from agencies big and small—some who even bike more than 300 miles in three days to get there while raising nearly a million dollars for the Memorial—come here to support survivors, pay tribute to comrades and perhaps most importantly, to show the world that the blue line may be thin, but it’s strong.”
Read Dale Stockton's Account of Police Week
More Stories from Washington:
Attorney General Gonzales Candlelight Vigil Remarks
Bush Honors 156 Police Officers Killed Last Year
Police Week: A Special Remembrance for Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
Car Accidents: The New, Disturbing Trend in Law Enforcement
NLEOMF Chairman Ceremony Remarks
NPW05- Radio America, interview with Craig Floyd
Police Week Events Around the Nation:
Tenn. Ceremony Attended by Family of Slain Officers Recalls Sacrifice
New Marker Honors Mass. Town's Former Officers
DEA honors Milwaukee agent
Sunday, May 15
National Police Week officially began today with the marking of Peace Officers Memorial Day. Honoring the service and sacrifice of our nation’s law enforcement officers, flags at the Memorial site and throughout the country were lowered to half staff. Special events took place throughout the day at the Memorial, including the Shomrim Society Wreathlaying Ceremony and numerous ceremonies. The Memorial is now bedecked with wreaths, mementoes, and poignant memories of our fallen heroes.
At the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, during the 24th annual Peace Officers Memorial Day Services, President George W. Bush comforted survivors of the 153 officers who died in the line of duty in 2004.
The ceremony at the U.S. Capitol was followed by the annual Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary Wreathlaying Ceremony at the Memorial.
Additional ceremonies take place tomorrow at the Memorial, including the ATF Memorial Service and the U.S Marshals Service Wreathlaying Ceremony. Memento collection will begin Wednesday.
Saturday, May 14
National Police Week kicked into high gear, with the arrival of the 10th Annual Law Ride, the Law Enforcement Ambassador’s Meeting, and a commemorative wreathlaying for COPS UK Founder Jim McNulty. Although the 10th Annual Emerald Society & Pipeband March and Service was shortened due to a severe storm that rolled in at 6 p.m., visitors took cover in the atrium gift shop, where they found all sorts of police week and NLEOMF memorabilia.
Candlelight Vigil 2005
Last evening at the 17th Annual Candlelight Vigil, more than 20,000 family members, law enforcement officers, and friends of law enforcement gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to respect, honor, and remember the 153 law enforcement heroes who in 2004 made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as 262 additional fallen heroes whom history had until this point forgotten.
Inspired by remarks from the nation’s top law enforcement official, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, NLEOMF Chairman Craig W. Floyd, and comforted by vocal tributes delivered by Birmingham, AL Police Chief Annetta W. Nunn and former NYPD Officer Daniel Rodriguez, attendees lit candles and gazed up at the blue laser which pierced the night sky, as if to proclaim ...
"Rest easy, America: The Thin Blue Line remains as strong, as loyal, and as dedicated as ever."
Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund