CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Police departments around the country are taking time to pause and remember law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. Monday is National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, which has been observed since it was first declared by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.
Peace Officers Memorial Day marks the beginning of National Police Week, which includes a series of events and conferences in Washington, D.C., where the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is located. The names of two Massachusetts law enforcement officers killed in the line-of-duty- State Trooper Thomas Clardy and Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarantino- were added to that monument in this past year. In total, the memorial contains the names of some 20,267 who died in the line of duty.
Locally, police departments are showing their support for their fallen brothers and sisters on social media and in person. In Northampton, for instance, officers are wearing special bracelets to raise awareness of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which maintains the Washington, D.C. memorial, and has plans to build a law enforcement museum nearby. In Chicopee, Mayor Richard Kos, city councilors, and police officers raised a police support flag Monday morning to remember and honor officers killed in the line of duty.
“You don’t take this job for recognition, you don’t take this job for a pat on the back- however, when something like this is done, and in this day and age with everything going on with police officers, it’s great to see city leaders support us the way they do,” Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk said.
Springfield will be holding a memorial ceremony on Wednesday.
Governor Charlie Baker has ordered that all U.S. and state flags be flown at half-staff until sunset in recognition of National Peace Officers Memorial Day.