A view of the Capitol building. One of our officers, Jeff Carroll, was able to score us some seats for the ceremony. Generally it is standing room only unless you are "connected". We were able to sit in the FOP / VIP seats at the rear of the ceremony.
John looking dapper during the ceremony. The sun was out and it was a gorgeous day. A little cover would have been nice as most of us did not prepare with sunscreen. We got a bit of sun but enjoyed being outside in the nice weather.
During the ceremony it is tradition that as officer names are read in the roll call that officers present from their state rise in honor and salute. There was a group of Lakewood and Seattle officers sitting together. When it neared time for us to honor our fallen we all stood at the back of the seats to pay tribute. Here we are in formation and then once they began the Washington State roll call we saluted our fallen brothers and sister.
John and I with a photo op in front of the Capitol after the ceremony.
The memorial wreath. As the name of each officer is read off of the roll call of honor a member of their family approaches the wreath and places a red flower in the center star. This wreath is then later taken to the National Law Enforcement Memorial where it is placed in the middle of the site and kept under the watchful eye of two honor guard members all night.
Washington State officers were given the honor of forming the reception line for the wreath to arrive at the Memorial. The last picture here is a group of Lakewood officers that were present.
The Lakewood officers that were present to receive the wreath.
After the wreath ceremony a small group of us went to visit with Congressman Dave Reichert at his office. Dave Reichert is a former Sheriff of the King County Sheriff's Office. He gave us an opportunity to go to the Senate floor and observe the room where the President gives the State of the Union address. It was pretty cool to be down there. The photo above is our small group just outside of Congressman Reichert's office, what a view.
This was an amazing trip that will not be forgotten by those that made it. The four of us that rode are certain to return next year and continue to ride in memory of our fallen and all other officers across the United States. We have been told by several Lakewood members that they are looking to join us next year. We are certain to have more than four of us from the state participating in the Police Unity Tour.
Saturday night brought no ceremonial items and Sunday was day of departure back home.
Stay tuned to the blog. Although it will not be as often, it will have updated information on fundraising and group growth leading up to next year's ride. We thank those that sponsored us to assist in making this happen and to all of our families for allowing us to fly across the country and take part in this phenomenal week of events.