NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 15, 2023) – The local FOP chapter has been asking everyone to lower their flags today in honor of the law enforcement officers who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty.
Tuscora Lodge President Bob Everett says it’s National Peace Officer Memorial Day, a time to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting their communities.
“So we’re asking our members, anybody in uniform, please, please cover your badge. We’re asking our businesses, our government offices, even our residents, if you’ll lower to half staff.”
The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund reports 226 line-of-duty deaths nationwide in 2022, including 64 from gunfire, which Everett says is unacceptable.
“Our national vice-president of the FOP was here with us in April for a banquet, and he said it’s time Congress passes a federal law that makes it a federal offense to murder a peace officer. Our men and women go out daily and they put their lives on the line and sadly, we just don’t have the respect anymore that there was even when I first started.”
Officers from around the country are also gathering in Washinton D.C. for the memorial service that takes place there each year.
“It’s a very solemn ceremony. All the surviving families are there. The president normally speaks and gives and address, and it’s just an occasion where everybody comes together to memorialize all those who have fallen the year prior, plus all those from before.”
Peace Officer Memorial Day is part of National Police Week, which runs through Saturday. That’s a time for folks to show they “back the blue” community by illuminating their porches and walkways with blue lights.