This week our nation is celebrating National Police Week, with today being National Police Officers Memorial Day.
The special day was created on Oct. 1, 1961, when Congress authorized President John F. Kennedy to designate May 15 to honor police officers. Kennedy signed the bill into law on Oct. 1, 1962.
The purpose of National Police Officers Memorial Day and week is to pay tribute to the local, state and federal law enforcement officers who serve and protect us with courage, bravery and dedication.
These observances also may be a reminder to embrace the police and be vigilant and cooperative with them as we partner against all forms of crime.
Our community has been impacted by the unspeakable and senseless tragedies of three fine police officers laying their lives on the line for us in a short eight-month period of time. We as citizens owe a great debt of gratitude to these courageous officers (and their families) for making the “ultimate sacrifice” for our well-being and our safety.
As a community, I speak for all of us when I say their sacrifices will never be forgotten and their memories will remain in our hearts and minds.
Please join me this week in honoring all of our active law enforcement officers, and all of their comrades who have died or who have been disabled in the line of duty. Please take time to reflect on the sacrifices made by our devoted officers. They have consistently acted on our behalf regardless of great peril and hazard to themselves. We enjoy a level of peace, safety and freedom that other nations are rightfully envious of as our police enforce our laws.
Perhaps you should consider expressing your appreciation by simply thanking a cop when you encounter one. Maybe if you see an officer at a restaurant ask the server if you can pick up the tab (no need to tell the officer).
You also could write a letter of appreciation on social media. Let others know how you were helped by an officer. Also consider writing a letter of thanks to the officer and copy his chief.
Whatever you do, make a point to express your sincere gratitude and appreciation to our men and women who proudly wear the badge.
Police Chaplain Bob Duthie serves as head chaplain for the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Group Chapter XI of Southeastern Wisconsin.