National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service

color guard

Click photo to view large slide show.

Fresno police

Click photo to view large slide show.

honor guard

Click photo to view large slide show.

Officers from around the country

Click photo to view large slide show.

President Obama spoke

Click photo to view large slide show.

hundreds gathered on the West Lawn

Click photo to view large slide show.

hundreds gathered on the West Lawn

Click photo to view large slide show.

Hundreds of police officers from across the United States gathered on the West Front lawn of the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2012, for the 31st annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, a ceremony that pays tribute to law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty during the past year.  This year’s service honored 166 fallen officers.

The ceremony, sponsored by the Grand Lodge Auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Police, was attended by House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, and several other dignitaries. President Barack Obama delivered the keynote address.

“Every American who wears the badge knows the burdens that come with it—the long hours and the stress; the knowledge that just about any moment could be a matter of life or death,” President Obama said. “You carry these burdens so the rest of us don’t have to.”

President John F. Kennedy established May 15th as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day in 1962, and the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service is one of a series of events held every year during National Police Week in Washington, DC.