The devastation of the 9-11 terrorist attacks spawned a number of special tributes to those who made the ultimate sacrifice that day. For the law enforcement community, one of those tributes is the U.S. Honor Flag. On Saturday, Peace Officers Memorial Day in the nation’s capital, the U.S. Honor Flag was front and center once again.
Shortly after 9/11, the Texas House of Representatives gave the flag that was flying over the state capitol that day to businessman Chris Heisler. With the flag in tow, Heisler headed to Ground Zero, picking up numerous tokens of support along the way. After the flag flew over Ground Zero for a period of time, Heisler decided it should continue to fly in honor of America’s fallen heroes.
Since then, the U.S. Honor Flag has criss-crossed the country and traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been present at more than 1,000 funerals and memorial services for law enforcement officers, firefighters and soldiers killed in the line of duty. In 2009, for example, the flag went to Pittsburgh after three officers were gunned down in April, and it is soon heading to the Pacific Northwest to honor the seven Washington state officers killed in the line of duty in late 2009.
For Peace Officers Memorial Day, the U.S. Honor Flag was brought into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Saturday afternoon by the Miami-Dade (FL) Police Department Honor Guard, escorting the Memorial Wreath from the service at the U.S. Capitol. That wreath is filled with flowers placed by the survivors of officers killed in 2009. The wreath remains at the Memorial and is watched over by honor guard units from across the country until midnight.
For the U.S. Honor Flag, the Memorial was one more special stop for one very special tribute to American law enforcement.