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Friday, May 14, 2010

First day of Police Week

I forgot to mention that on the night of 12 May when we arrived in DC at the conclusion of the ride the chapter that we were riding with had a dinner. We went to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse. It was an excellent meal and gave those that were riding under Chapter XIII one last certain chance to be together.

We also went out that evening and were able to meet with some of the Lakewood officers that traveled to DC for the ceremonies. It was great to see many of them waiting for us at the Memorial when we rode in and equally as great to see more of them that evening.

On 13 May we knew that the big event would be the Candlelight Vigil. During the day we did not do too much. We basically hung around the hotel and got our uniforms ready for the evening. Our main task for the Vigil was to be escort officers for the survivors as they arrived at the Memorial. We had to be at the Memorial at 4:30 to get briefed and ready for buses of survivors to begin arriving around 5. There were numerous officers that were a part of this detail. We formed receiving lines from the curb into the Memorial for seating. We handed each female a rose and escorted them to their seats. It was a special honor and privelege I am certain we will not soon forget.

The reflection pond at the National Law Enforcement Memorial.

The stage and some of the survivors that had arrived for the ceremony. Not all of them came by bus and were in the area early.

This is our side of the receiving line. This was duplicated on the opposite side of the Memorial.

Here are four members of the Lakewood PD on honor guard duty. They are members of the Metro Pierce Honor Guard. Four member honor guard details were present while the survivors arrived at the Memorial. They rotated in and out about every 15 minutes or so. It was good to see our local guys representing at the Vigil.

This is a sampling of the crowd of survivors at the Vigil.

We were told that once the ceremony started there would be a very large crowd. None of us anticipated seeing this many people present for the ceremony. This is half of the people that were present behind us. In front of us were hundreds off other officers, civilians and survivors.

A photo of us during the ceremony.

Craig Floyd, CEO and chairman of the NLEOMF, was the emcee for the evening. Several people gave speeches to include the national president of Concerns Of Police Survivors (Jennifer Thacker) and the US Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. It was heartwarming to hear AG Holder speak of our officers and the tragedy that occurred in Lakewood. It truly was a national phenomenon that was recognized around the globe. There were numerous fellow officers that we have spoken with during the week that are in the know of our incident.

The Vigil included a blue laser that was illuminated across the Memorial in honor of the Thin Blue Line. It was very impressive to see. It also included the candle lighting ceremony. The first candle was lit on the dais and spread across the crowd. It was amazing to see every candle lit with just a few minutes. There were thousands of people in attendance and this was an amazing feat.

The shield that we wear with pride.

The NLEOMF symbol and the thin blue line.

After the ceremony at the wall.

On 14 May we did not have anything on the agenda. We spent the morning moving from one hotel to another for our final few days. In the afternoon we walked around a bit and visited the Memorial Wall again. We made impressions of our fallen officers that we will be taking home with us. Tomorrow brings the Memorial Service on the Capitol Lawn.

1 comment:

  1. amazing photos. thanks so much for making the trip and sharing the moments with us.