ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WAVY) — In honor of National Police Week, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger and the Eastern District of Virginia are finding ways to recognize the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
Each day since Police Week began on May 10, Terwilliger and members of the EDVA have been visiting local departments, posting daily remembrances on social media, and visiting the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund to pay respects. On Wednesday, May 13 at 8 p.m., the virtual candlelight vigil will be held nationwide to honor officers across the nation — and the EDVA will include the memory of Officer Katie Thyne.
The virtual candlelight vigil can be viewed across multiple platforms as the names of 307 brave men and women are read aloud in respect, honor, and remembrance. Streaming platforms include Facebook, the National Law Enforcement Fund and Museum’s YouTube channels, Buildseries.com, and four Twitter accounts.
The 307 names will also be engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which brings the total to 22,217 officers killed in the line of duty memorialized there.
“During Police Week, our nation appropriately pauses to celebrate the service and bravery of police officers from around the country who selflessly gave their last full measure of devotion,” said Terwilliger. “We will forever be in their debt for keeping our communities safe and allowing us the luxury of pursuing those ideals set forth by our founding fathers of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
He continued, “Led by Attorney General Barr, the Department is committed to supporting our federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers and their families. EDVA has their back, and they most certainly have our deepest thanks. Respect. Honor. Remember.”
FBI Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program shows data that in 2019, 89 law enforcement officers died nationwide in the line of duty. Two of which are officers here in the Eastern District of Virginia.
The comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives can be found online.
“There is no more noble profession than serving as a police officer,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “The men and women who protect our communities each day have not just devoted their lives to public service, they’ve taken an oath to give their lives in order to ensure our safety.”
Barr continued, “And they do so not only in the face of hostility from those who reject our nation’s commitment to the rule of law but also in the face of evolving adversity – such as an unprecedented global health pandemic. This week, I ask all Americans to join me in saying ‘thank you’ to our nation’s federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers. Their devotion and sacrifice to our peace and security will not be taken for granted.”
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed an official declaration that designated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the week surrounding that date as Police Week.
Every year, between 25,000 and 40,000 law enforcement officers from around the world gather in Washington D.C. to participate in events that honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
For more information on National Police Week visit policeweek.org.
The Eastern District of Virginia office serves over six million residents in Northern Virginia, parts of Richmond, Hampton Roads, Tidewater, and surrounding communities. The EDVA enforces the laws of the U.S. and serves the community by improving public safety, promoting the law, and upholding civil and constitutional rights.
For more information on the Eastern District of Virginia visit justice.gov/usao-edva.
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