A Proclamation on Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, 2023
Every day when law enforcement officers pin on their badges, they make an extraordinary commitment to the American people: to rush toward danger regardless of the risk and to faithfully stand up for the rule of law. Across our neighborhoods, towns, and cities, they put themselves in harm’s way, hoping to return home safely to their families. On Peace Officers Memorial Day and during Police Week, we celebrate the remarkable courage of our law enforcement community and honor the fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their fellow Americans.
As a Nation, we expect a lot from our law enforcement officers. They save lives by keeping our roads, subways, and highways safe and responding to domestic violence incidents and natural disasters. We ask them to ensure public safety, build trust within our neighborhoods, and protect the well-being of our communities. Too often, they are also called upon to respond to mass shootings, drug overdoses, mental health crises, and more. Being a law enforcement officer is not just what they do; it is who they are.
The same is true for their families, who sacrifice alongside these heroic Americans. It takes a special person to marry or be the child of a law enforcement officer — knowing the uncertainty as their loved one walks out the door and dreading the possibility of receiving that phone call.
No memorial can ever fill the void left in the hearts of those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. But their sacrifices in full service to their communities and to our Nation will never be forgotten. We will continue to honor their memories with actions that help keep our law enforcement officers and communities safe from harm.
At the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., there is a quote engraved on the wall that reads, “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.” Today, during this week, and year-round, we express our gratitude for the courageous women and men of our Nation’s law enforcement community. We honor the memory of the members who made the ultimate sacrifice and pray for their families. And we recommit ourselves to the sacred task of creating a safer and more just Nation for all Americans.