DC tribute to fallen law-enforcement officers draws crowd of thousands to National Mall

Thousands of candles lit up the night sky at the National Mall in Washington D.C., on Thursday evening to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

More than 4,000 members of law enforcement and their families attended the candlelight vigil, which paid tribute to 701 officers who died in the line of duty in previous years, including 434 who died in 2019 and 2020.

“Today we recognize the nobility of the law enforcement profession. We pay tribute to those who lost their lives in sacrifice of the safety of our communities, and we remember them,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

SLAIN CHICAGO COP ELLA FRENCH’S WOUNDED PARTNER RELEASED FROM REHAB, GREETED BY FELLOW OFFICERS

Thousands of members of law enforcement and their families attended the candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. (FBI)

Thousands of members of law enforcement and their families attended the candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. (FBI)

The names of 701 fallen officers were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. They will be forever etched on the walls of the memorial and are now part of the 22,611 fallen law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.

“We are gathered here today to honor those seven hundred and one fallen officers whose names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers memorial. We gather because grieving, remembering, and honoring those we have lost means more when we can do it together. I’m honored to be here in person with you for this occasion,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

Garland said any call could be an officer’s last. He referenced DEA Special Agent Michael Garbo, as well as Senior Inspector and Deputy U.S. Marshal Jared Keyworth, who both recently “made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” he said.

Garbo was killed this month after gunfire erupted at an Amtrak station in Tucson, Arizona, as a task force composed of local and federal law enforcement agencies was conducting a routine train check for illegal guns, drugs, money, and other items. 

The Washington Monument is seen as thousands of candles light up the night sky at the National Mall in Washington D.C. Thursday evening. (FBI)

The Washington Monument is seen as thousands of candles light up the night sky at the National Mall in Washington D.C. Thursday evening. (FBI)

Keyworth died last month in a car accident while responding to a felony offender case near Florence, Mississippi, reports said. 

“Yet despite those risks, you run toward danger to protect the public from harm. Your extraordinary courage and dedication is an inspiration for all of us,” Garland said. 

As the pandemic spread last year, law enforcement and first responders continued to work on the streets. Approximately two-thirds of those who died in the line of duty last year were COVID-related deaths, Garland said. 

NYPD OFFICERS COLLECTED RECORD $837M IN OVERTIME AMID SKYROCKETING VIOLENT CRIME

“Through it all, and despite the increased risks to your health and your safety, you have continued to protect the communities you serve,” he added. “And as we gather here today, we also know that we continue to face many other challenges in addition to the pandemic.”

In addition to the virus, Garland discussed the dangers and challenges to law enforcement as violent crime and gun violence continue to surge across the U.S.

“The opioid epidemic and the threat of fentanyl endanger all of our communities and internet crimes, in particular online child sexual exploitation, have reached historic levels,” he added. “To many, these challenges may seem insurmountable, but not to you.”

During the vigil, Mayorkas discussed his feelings toward law enforcement when his parents brought him to America. He said it “meant everything” for his parents to see a police officer or sheriff knowing they risk their lives to protect and serve the public. 

Starting at age 12, he said his mother would tell him to approach an officer, shake their hand and say “thank you.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Reverence for the men and women of law enforcement remains very much a part of me today,” he said. “Let it be so for our entire nation.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.