On May 15th, the West Front of the United States Capitol brought thousands of law enforcement officers, their families, and their allied supporters from across the country to remember their sacrifices.
President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15th to be Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962 after the Congress of the United States approved a joint resolution. The resolution declared May 15th to be a day to honor law enforcement officers, but is not treated as a federal holiday. The Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony did not begin until 1982, making this the 39th installment of the annual tradition.
President Donald J. Trump spoke at the memorial ceremony for the third straight year. His remarks were focused on remembering the lives of fallen officers and calling on Congress to impose tougher penalties on those that kill cops. “These brave heroes did not put on the uniform for praise or for glory. They wore the badge because it was their duty, their calling, their noble purpose to serve, protect like nobody has ever done it before. They embodied our highest ideals and greatest aspirations. They were the very best of us. There was nobody close,” said the President.
One very special moment of the President’s remarks was when the family of fallen police officer Ronil Singh of California took the stage to speak on behalf of families who lost a law enforcement officer in 2018. Singh was gunned down during a traffic stop and died in the line of duty. Animika Singh, the widow of Officer Singh, told the crowd: “It’s something I didn’t get to do at the office. I actually want to thank you personally for — you’re the only one that actually reached out and said — gave your condolence to the family. And it actually means a lot to all of our law enforcement families that are here. For the sacrifice my husband and his brothers in blue, in (inaudible) blue, have given. So I want to thank you for that. And we all — every family sitting out here wants justice for what happened to their loved ones. And that’s what I want for my husband.”
President Trump used the speech to call for the death penalty for cop killers nationwide. “The ambushes and attacks on our police must end, and they must end right now. We believe that criminals who murder police officers should immediately, with trial, get the death penalty — but quickly. The trial should go fast. It’s got to be fair, but it’s got to go fast. And that’s happening.” A total of 30 states have the death penalty on their books. President Trump has consistently stated that there should be a nationwide death penalty for any cop killers.
A proclamation granting May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day was signed by President Trump on May 10th. We thank everyone who has followed the National Police Support Fund during the 2019 installment of National Police Week. Our sponsorship of National Police Week demonstrates our commitment to supporting our officers. We look forward to returning in 2020.