National Archives This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.

11:48 A.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Linda.  Mr. President, members of the Cabinet, members of Congress, honored guests and dignitaries, members of the law enforcement community, and the precious families of our fallen, it is National Police Week.  And on behalf of the President of the United States of America, today it is my privilege to welcome so many courageous men and women of law enforcement and especially the families of the fallen who are gathered here to mark the 36th National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.

To the leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police, to all those who stand on the Thin Blue Line and our law enforcement community — police, sheriffs, detectives, deputies — to all who have traveled from near and far to join in this hallowed, annual ceremony, we are honored by your presence.  And our Nation’s Capital is better for you being here.

Every day, each one of you walks out the door of your homes to protect and serve our families at the risk of not returning to yours.

And today, be assured you have the gratitude of your President, this entire administration and national government, and you have the gratitude of every American.

As we acknowledge your service, we gather to honor the sacrifice and we trust to comfort the families of members of our law enforcement community who lost their lives in the line of duty.
It’s said that no greater love has a man than this — that he should lay down his life for his friends.  It’s also said that the Lord is close to the broken-hearted.  And that’s our prayer for each of you today.

Sacrifice and memory is what brings us to this place every year.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared this day as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and this week around the country will be National Police Week.

And every year since 1982, members of our law enforcement community, their families and friends have gathered on this day in Washington, D.C. to mourn the fallen and remember their heroism through this memorial service.

The men and women we remember today came from all across America and served at every level of law enforcement.

We mourn with those who mourn.  We grieve with those who grieve, but we do not grieve like the rest who have no hope — because heroes give us hope.

The tens of thousands who stand here today continue a tradition of honoring you heroes of our law enforcement communities across America in cities large and small.

And I’m confident to say, as I saw last year on the streets of Howard County, Indiana, where thousands spontaneously poured forth to line the streets to pay a solemn tribute to the late Sheriff’s Deputy Carl Koontz, I’m confident today that millions of Americans stand with us in spirit and are breathing a silent prayer for your service and your families.

We honor the memory of our heroic fallen in tributes like this across this nation all this week.  But we also honor their sacrifice by ensuring that those who protect and serve have the support and the resources and the training that the men and women of law enforcement deserve.  (Applause.)

As those in uniform across this country already know, President Trump’s highest priority is the safety and security of the American people.

This President knows in his heart that to make America safe again we must also restore the tradition of respect and honor that is owed to every member of the law enforcement community in America.  (Applause.)

President Trump stands with the men and women of law enforcement without apology — and he always will.

On this National Police Week, may God himself comfort the families of the fallen here and those looking on, may God bless each of you as you protect and serve, and may God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

11:53 A.M. EDT