‘Among the Bravest Americans to Ever Live’: Law Enforcement Is Honored
As National Police Week recognizes the service and sacrifice of uniformed officers, the president speaks to the children of the fallen
“To protect and serve.” Sure, that’s a simple, straightforward motto — but those words capture a promise to every single person in our nation.
America’s police officers rush into the most dangerous situations imaginable. Most of the time, they’re helping complete strangers.
Despite the ongoing vilification of police officers by the media, academia and so many others, law enforcement is a noble profession. Police often sacrifice their own lives — and the futures of their families — to protect others.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says that 129 officers died in the line of duty in 2017. In the past decade, more than 1,500 cops lost their lives on the job — meaning a police officer is killed every 58 hours. It’s a grim reality.
To be sure, the spirit of service and willingness to sacrifice is widely absent in the Left’s anti-cop narrative.
National Police Week recognizes the extraordinary dedication of U.S. law enforcement.
When President Donald Trump delivered remarks at the 37th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service on Tuesday at the Capitol, he demanded stronger protections for police and an end to ambush-style attacks on cops across the country.
"The Trump administration has a policy, and it's very clear: We will protect those who protect us," the president said (see his comments in the video below).
Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special homage to law enforcement officers who perished in the line of duty.
In other words: Blue Lives Matter. And their collective sacrifice is immeasurable, though many dismiss this reality.
"Americans can honor police officers by challenging the lies about policing spread by the media and the academic Left, whenever the opportunity arises to do so," Manhattan-based Heather Mac Donald told LifeZette. She's the author of "The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe" and is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
On average, cops killed in the line of duty are in their early 40s, have two children, and have 13 years of service.
"Policing today is driven by the incidence of victimization, not the race of suspects," she said.
National Police Week celebrates these officers' sacrifice and honors their service. On average, cops killed in the line of duty are in their early 40s, have two children, and have 13 years of service in law enforcement under their belts.
National Police Week draws 25,000 to 40,000 attendees from departments throughout the United States, according to the FBI's homepage, and also from agencies throughout the world. A candlelight vigil on Sunday, May 14, for law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty drew throngs to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and is the signature event of National Police Week.
The vigil came days after the Special Agent Memorial Service at FBI Headquarters, which paid tribute to fallen FBI agents. The annual service dates back to 1979, when three agents were killed in the line of duty.
FBI Director Christopher Wray issued a solemn reminder on the FBI homepage that the men and women who work in law enforcement — together with their families — willingly bear a special burden. "Every day, when agents pick up their badges, they know they might not return home at night."
Mac Donald, who is also a scholar, shares another important truth.
"Police sacrifices go unnoticed because a large segment of the population is in total denial about the problems of underclass culture. The public has no idea about the social disintegration that confronts officers who work in high-crime areas," she said.
The president offered comfort and a message that all Americans need to hear. "Your moms and dads were among the bravest Americans to ever live," he told the children of officers who are now gone. Many of the kids were seated right in front of him.
"When danger came, when darkness fell, when distraction loomed, they did not flinch," Trump continued. "They were not afraid. They did not falter. Their immortal legacy lives on in each and every one of you. Today, every American heart bleeds blue."
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.