Saturday, May 21, 2016

Memories from National Police Week 2016

Blue light honoring law enforcement.
 Memories from National Police Week 2016
There are individuals among us that perform duties that go well beyond the norm.  They Protect and Serve us all.  Most times they go about their business with little or no fanfare.  And on the worst day these proud defenders are taken from us before their time.  Whether serving at the local, state, or federal level they are heroes.  I am talking about those unique, and often under-appreciated, folks that choose Law Enforcement as their profession and calling.

 All of those who make the choice to enter this honorable profession must realize that they will enter dangerous areas or situations.  They also know that others may seek them out in anger or assistance.  None of us know when our last day might be, but not all professions face the danger of death as often or with such attitudes of servitude.

 I have a great deal of respect and admiration for those in this profession.  Their duties are of such that many would choose to avoid. There are several fantastic groups and organizations that honor and assist those killed in the line of duty as well as those left behind after such a tragedy.  I have provided links to some I am familiar with throughout this blog.  There are also links to videos and articles related to law enforcement and those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.

 “In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events that honor those whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation's Capital each year.
The National Peace Officers' Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.). 
National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement.” It also allows for a time of remembrance and honor for the survivors and community.

Law Enforcement United arriving at Marine Corp Memorial.
 Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

 Arizona Concerns of Police Survivors

 Fraternal Order of Police

 Our True Heroes

“Our True Heroes is a grassroots movement to honor the men and women who carry a badge. Our goal is to tell the stories of everyday American heroes who put their lives on the line so that our communities are safe. We believe that the more Americans hear about these acts of courage and kindness, the more communities will work together to solve their challenges.”

 The Officer Down Memorial

 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

 2016 Candlelight Vigil

Police Unity Tour at National Law Enforcement Memorial
 “Officer Down” by Hanna Ellis

 Sound of Silence – Blue Edition

2016 Candlelight Vigil
 Sheriff David Clarke at COPS Survivors Conference

 Project Blue Light

“The color blue is symbolic of “PEACE”.
By displaying your blue light(s) you send a message that you support America’s Peacekeepers, your light is guiding them to safety, and you hope the year will be peaceful.  Shine it for the holiday season or let it shine all year long. Project Blue Light is a nationwide recognition of those Police Officers who have died in the line of duty. It began in 1988 in Phila when Dolly Craig wrote a letter to Concerns of Police Survivors stating that she would be honoring her late son-in-law, Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Gleason, during the holiday season by placing a blue light in her window.”

 Images from our week in D.C. for National Police Week are my way of sharing memories. It is hard to explain the different emotions throughout the week. You have to be able to experience, firsthand, hundreds of bicycles arriving at the Marine Corp Memorial or National Law Enforcement Memorial in honor of those who have fallen and for those that survive. I can only imagine what it would be like if they could agree to ride in together in a true show of “united unity.” I still cry when hearing bag pipes play Amazing Grace, the sound of Taps, or a 21 Gun Salute. The emotion is raw and healing at the same time.

Police Unity Tour
 Law Enforcement United

Speaker, Pilot and Author Brian Shul. Incredible story!
Spirit of Blue
Protecting our Nation’s Law Enforcement

 There is also a special breed of public servant that holds a place in my heart. The often forgotten Correctional staff has organizations that assist them along the way. It sure is a strange way to make a living.

 Desert Waters Correctional Outreach

Correctional Peace Officers Foundation
 Corrections Staff Fellowship

 Some may ask what they can do to show support for those in Law Enforcement. I would say there are a number of great ways to let them know they are appreciated. There are magnets, license plates and frames to put on your car. You can fly a blue ribbon from your vehicle or put up blue lights where you live. I have been known to buy them a cup of coffee, cover their meal expense, or wave as I drive past them on the road. A smile and a thank you can also go a long way in letting them know they are appreciated. I also support the organizations that I know support law enforcement. These same types of things can be done for any of the first responders in your community. Silent support does not seem like a viable option in the world today.

 Thank you to all of those in the Law Enforcement community for your service and sacrifice.  It takes a special person to do what you do on a daily basis and I am glad you are out there.  You are in my thoughts and prayers as are your families.  To my fellow survivors I send my love, prayers, and understanding.

Cool car that we were able to sign on the hood.

Jersey worn by "my sister from another mister." Patches are for her father Stuart Searles, as well as mine.

Leroy D Brown and Dad
Articles from 1969 about my father.

At the National Law Enforcement Memorial

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion." Proverbs 28:1
Thin Blue Line

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Law enforcement image of 2016 Candlelight Vigil on the National Mall. 
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