Each year during the week of May 15, groups of people gather together to honor the memory of a member of their family. Surviving spouses grieving a lost partner; children missing a parent; older couples who have survived their son or daughter; brothers, sisters, fellow peace officers - so many of us commemorate National Police Week as participants of a Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.
California Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremonies have been conducted in the State Capitol since 1977. It is a ceremony that honors the officers who have fallen in the line-of-duty the preceding year, recognizing the sacrifice of those loved and left behind.
We understand that the grief of the loss still lingers on, and such proceedings renew unhappy memories and can be the occasion of additional pain. However, it is important that those of us left behind, recognize that these officers did not die in vain. The people owe a debt to those who have given their lives, and the peace officers of this state want this memory to stay fresh in the minds of the citizens. That is why we must revisit these unhappy memories each year on that day set aside to reflect on courage and sacrifice; and, to assure that their loss will not be forgotten, and the survivors will always be a part of the police community.