Portland Police Memorial Service, Waterfront Park – Portland, Oregon
I am honored to have this opportunity to bring deserved recognition to National Police Week and to Peace Officers Memorial Day. By standing here today, we honor the over 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers who work 24-7 serving communities nationwide. We serve villages, rural towns, urban metropolises and suburban communities. We patrol back country roads, bustling city streets, and congested multi lane interstates.
We hail from all corners of the country, from different backgrounds, races, genders, creeds, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations. We live, work, recreate, and are patrons, in the communities we serve. Most of all we have one common goal, to protect and serve the diverse and evolving needs of the community with compassion, dedication, professionalism, dignity, equity and respect. These are the standards and expectations of our sworn oath handed down by those before us, as we teach it to those who come after us.
As we sit here on this beautiful day with the Memorial behind me, we not only honor your loved one, we honor you, the survivors. You were there on the long tough shifts that were worked on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, weekends, and many other special times. You were there to be the calm voice on the tough days and to share in the joy of achievement. And, you were there for the final shift, for that knock at the door when reality set in that your loved one had made the ultimate sacrifice. This day is as much yours as it is theirs.
The men and women on this Memorial Wall and on monuments like this one nationwide gave the ultimate sacrifice for the communities they served. They gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect citizens regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, or sexual orientation. They showed courage when most would have fled. They showed resolved when most would have behaved irrationally. And, they showed dignity when most would have shown depravity.
So, it is most fitting that today, this country and its communities pay tribute to our fallen heroes, their families, loved ones, and fellow officers, honoring the memories of lives lost while protecting the citizens and communities of this nation. To the survivors, thank you so much for letting us share with you of your loved one, you have also made the ultimate sacrifice.