Peace Officers Memorial Day Speech

portland police memorial

In memory of Those Who Sacrifice All to Protect and Serve Our Communities

As always, I am humbled and honored to speak on behalf of the rank and file of the Portland Police Association as we pay tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the communities they serve. We also pay tribute to the families, loved ones, friends, and coworkers of the heroes who went into the profession of policing because of their compassion, respect, and care for those in need and the most vulnerable among us. They raised their hand and proudly took an oath of a most honorable and noble profession, wearing the badge to protect and serve.

When I started my career in law enforcement almost 28 years ago, I joined a fellowship of men and women from all walks of life. Like the diverse communities we serve, we come from every race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and culture. We are sons and daughters of immigrants, famers, teachers, nurses, ministers, and mechanics. We are from rural America, the suburbs, urban cities, and yes, the projects of Newark, New Jersey. With those differences we all have one common goal, to serve those who call for help with the same respect, equity, and professionalism regardless if they are the CEO of a company or living in a cardboard box under a bridge. Whether they are a soccer mom or someone going through mental health crisis. And whether they are a citizen of the United States or an undocumented immigrant.

As we honor our fallen heroes today know that through the false narratives, anti-police rhetoric, and political agendas that their sacrifice shines like a beacon of light protecting and guiding all of us who do the job through these difficult and trying times. Their example of dedication, integrity, humility and sacrifice is the standard by which we all are measured.

And although we grieve the loss of those whom we honor today on this wall behind me and monuments like this all across America. We celebrate the life they led, the profession they honored, and the legacy they left for us to follow.