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Reminder: Lower Flags For Peace Officers Memorial Day



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Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week is an observance in this country that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty.

In a proclamation issued May 10, President Joseph Biden called on Americans “to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities and salute our Nation’s brave law enforcement officers and remember their peace officer brothers and sisters who have given their last full measure of devotion in the line of duty. “

The President also called on governors to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is celebrated May 15 of each year.

This year, the names of 282 officers killed in the line of duty have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. The names include 118 officers who were killed during 2023, plus 164 officers who died in previous years, but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.

Hartford Police Detective Robert Carl Garten’s name is among the 2024 Roll Call of Heroes. Detective Garten died September 6, 2023, after his patrol car was hit by a vehicle fleeing a traffic stop in Hartford. He was 34 years old.

There are currently 24,067 names engraved on the Memorial.

The names of all 282 fallen officers nationwide were formally dedicated during the 36th Annual Candlelight Vigil held on the National Mall Monday, May 13.

In his proclamation, Biden said in part that on Peace Officers Memorial Day and during Police Week, “we recognize the incredible courage of our Nation’s police officers and honor the fallen heroes, whose ultimate sacrifice we can never repay.”

The proclamation also stated in part: “My Administration recognizes that being a police officer is harder than ever. We expect them to be everything to everyone — counselors to people experiencing a crisis, social workers to kids who have been abandoned, and guardians to communities flooded with weapons of war. That is why we have invested in more crisis responders who work alongside police officers to respond to non-violent crimes. We have also increased investments in recruiting, retaining, and training officers and in violence prevention to get guns off the streets. We are working hard to strengthen the bonds of trust between officers and the people they serve. My Budget requests over $10 billion to recruit, train, support, and hire 100,000 additional police officers trained in effective, accountable community policing — working hand in hand with community leaders and local partners to gain trust and advance public safety.”

Governor Ned Lamont issued his annual Peace Officers Memorial Day proclamation:

“Our law enforcement officials face many challenges in the course of protecting our communities and they frequently put themselves in the path of danger in order to protect the lives of people they’ve never even met,” Lamont said. “People who make the decision to enter a career in law enforcement are to be commended, and their dedication to public safety benefits everybody in our communities. We salute and pray for every law enforcement officer who has given their life in the line of duty, and we keep in our hearts their families and loved ones. I urge everybody in Connecticut to thank our law enforcement officials and keep those who have given their lives in your prayers.”

Lt Gov Susan Bysiewicz also commented:

“As we observe Peace Officers Memorial Day, let’s honor the dedication and sacrifice of our law enforcement officials,” she said. “They embody the essence of public service, bravely safeguarding our communities day in and day out. It’s crucial to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to Connecticut and our nation. Their valor will forever be remembered, and we must honor their legacy not just today, but every day.”

Ahead of last year’s Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony, a field of 226 flags was placed by members of Newtown Police Department in front of the department headquarters to honor National Law Enforcement Memorial Day and the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in this country in 2022. —Bee file photo
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