FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 15, 2014
National Police Week 2014: Honoring and Remembering our Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
City of Bethlehem Police Department – Again this year, communities across the United States will come together during National Police Week—May 11-17—to honor and remember those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.
This year, the names of 286 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. These 286 officers include 100 officers who were killed during 2013, plus 186 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now.
Since 1962, May 15th is recognized as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, is designated as National Police Week. Proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and 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. Since 1907, six Bethlehem Police Officers have been killed in the line of duty.
On Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 6:00 Pm, those six fallen Bethlehem Police Officers will be remembered along with all the other Police Officers that gave their lives in service of their communities throughout the United States in 2013. The City of Bethlehem Police Department will also be recognizing law enforcement officers and others for their service over the past year. This memorial ceremony will be held at the Bethlehem Police Memorial at the north end of the Officer Phillip Fahy Bridge by City Hall.
With respect for the 286 officers killed in the line of duty, and whom names are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. and in memory of the six Bethlehem Police Officers killed in the line of duty since 1907, Sands Casino of Bethlehem, will be shinning blue lights upon the Old Bethlehem Steel Blast Furnace area during this week in honor and memory of their service and sacrifice. The blue lights represent the thin blue line that law enforcement officers stand watch upon that protects the law abiding citizen from those who do not obey the law. Thank You Sands Casino.
The names of all 286 fallen officers nationwide will be formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, during the 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2014. So that people across the country can experience this unique and powerful ceremony, the vigil will be webcast live over the Internet beginning at 8 pm (EDT) on May 13th. To register for this free online event, visit www.LawMemorial.org/webcast.
The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2014. The national observance is organized by a group of organizations led by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), Concerns of Police Survivors, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.
On May 15th each year, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary host a ceremony on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol to honor fallen law enforcement officers and their families.
In tribute to American law enforcement officers and at the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates May 15th National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which is one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half staff.
Upon request and approval by the Honorable Robert J. Donchez, Mayor, City of Bethlehem, the U.S. Flag, State flag and City flag at Bethlehem City Hall will be flown at half staff on , Thursday, May 15th in their memory.
For more information about National Police Week, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.
Mark A. DiLuzio
Chief of Police