Forty-two years after President John F. Kennedy signed a public law announcing May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the following week as National Police Week, thousands of people from across the nation still gather to remember fallen officers.
Since 1794, when the first known death of an on-duty officer was recorded, more than 14,000 officers have died in the line of duty. A memorial for these officers was dedicated by President George Bush in 1991.
“Police week is to not forget those who came before you and what they did for the job today,” said Tech. Sgt. Mark Berg, 435th Security Forces Squadron assistant NCO in charge of police services. “Police do what they do for a reason and we need to remember those 14,000.”
The KMC holds events from Monday through May 20 in observance of police week. A memorial service is Monday, starting with a 7:30 a.m. prayer breakfast at the Ramstein Officers’ Club. A wreath-laying ceremony follows in front of the Berlin Wall Memorial behind the club. The service concludes with a formal retreat at 4:30 p.m. at the 435th Air Base Wing Headquarters flag.
A Community Rodeo is Tuesday at the Vogelweh Base Exchange and Wednesday at the Ramstein Commissary. McGruff the Crimedog will attend events that include a bike rodeo, giving children safety tips on bike riding, and a miniature bike course (children must have helmets to participate). There is also a K-9 demonstration, security forces vehicle and weapons displays and demonstrations giving the public knowledge on drugs and DUIs.
Woodlawn Golf Course hosts a golf tournament 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The tournament is open to everyone, but police teams have priority. May 20 is the final day of police week and the Vogelweh Rod and Gun Club hosts a shooting event at 8 a.m. The event is only open to active duty military as the weapons used will be military M-16A2s. Contact Tech. Sgt. Michael Young at 489-8114 for details on the event.
“Police week events are also dedicated to fallen officers’ families,” said Sergeant Berg. “We always keep their family members in our prayers and we always keep each other in our prayers because one day it could be you or the guy next to you.”
For more information on the community rodeo, call Sergeant Berg at 480-2031 and for details on the memorial service call Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Peters at 480-2009.