Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, 2002
May 10, 2002
In the face of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, our Nation witnessed
the remarkable heroism of America's peace officers as they selflessly aided
those in need. As the World Trade Center towers burned, dedicated officers rushed
into the severely damaged buildings to rescue the injured. Seventy-two peace
officers died that day, trying to save others. These supreme sacrifices remind
us of the remarkable commitment that our Nation's peace officers have made to
preserve our safety and our country's well-being.
In all, 230 law enforcement officers gave their lives in the line of duty last
year. The name of each fallen officer has a place of honor on the National Law
Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. This monument ensures
that the valor of the more than 15,000 law enforcement officers lost since 1794
will never be forgotten.
Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week pay tribute to the local, State,
and Federal law enforcement officers who serve and protect us with courage and
dedication. These observances also remind us of the ongoing need to be vigilant
against all forms of crime, especially to acts of extreme violence and terrorism.
Effective law enforcement is a crucial element to maintaining our quality of
life; and we must continue to ensure that our police have the financial, technical,
and civil support necessary to carry out their responsibilities. The more than
740,000 sworn law enforcement officers who are our first responders play a critical
role in our Nation's safety and security.
Every American should also play a role in making our communities safer. Programs
operated through the Citizen Corps, including Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers
in Police Service, and the Terrorism Information and Prevention System, offer
citizens the opportunity to take a stand against crime. As we observe Peace
Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, I encourage all Americans to learn more
about ways to fight crime in their communities and to honor the brave individuals
who protect our lives and property.
By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended, (76 Stat. 676),
the Congress has authorized and requested the President to designate May 15
of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the week in which
it falls as "Police Week," and, by Public Law 103-322, as amended,
(36 U.S.C. 136), has directed that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace
Officers Memorial Day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America,
do hereby proclaim May 15, 2002, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 12 through
May 18, 2002, as Police Week. I call on Americans to observe these events with
appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on Governors of the United
States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials
of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on
Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the
flag at half-staff from their homes on that day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of May, in the
year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence of the United States
of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.