Thousands of law enforcement officers, their families and friends, honored their fallen heroes during the annual National Police Week observances in Washington, D.C.   Most of the events  were held around the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and included the arrival on May 12 of thousands of officers on bicycles who traveled hundreds of miles to raise money for the memorial.  The highlight of the week was a candlelight vigil on May 13, which was open to the public and attended by as many as 20,000 people.

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week.  Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is centered in the 400 block of E Street, NW, Washington, DC and is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.

The Memorial features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 20,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1791. The names of 286 fallen law enforcement heroes were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year.