Every year since the Memorial was dedicated in October 1991, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Corrections Chiefs Committee has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial honoring correctional officers from the DC Metropolitan region and around the nation for their service and sacrifice. More than 500,000 brave men and women currently work so valiantly inside our prisons and jails, contributing to the safety of our community and nation.
This year’s ceremony included guest speakers Craig W. Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and Patrick A. Burke, Assistant Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC.
After brief remarks, the roll call of fallen heroes was solemnly read aloud, as members of the participating honor guards carried red roses to the center medallion of the Memorial. After each flower was placed, a single bell tolled. In a traditional symbolic gesture, white doves were released at the end of the ceremony, and a wreath was placed at the medallion.
Tomorrow marks the start of National Correctional Officers’ and Employees Week (May 6-12, 2012), which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Proclaiming the first-ever National Correctional Officers Week on May 5, 1984, President Reagan called “upon officials of State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
In 1996, Congress officially changed the name of the week to National Correctional Officers and Employees Week. The names of 585 correctional officers are engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. These courageous heroes are forever remembered, and their light continues to shine through their memory, and through the selfless men and women who continue to serve each day.
The Correctional Peace Officer Foundation will hold a ceremony scheduled for June 8, 10:00 am at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.