Wed night was bussed in to D.C. to attend a ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Memorial. I had not previously been to this memorial. The memorial itself includes a pool and an open columned structure surrounding a circular plaza (hopefully that will be clearer in the pictures). Curving from the pool back to the circle are two walls with the names of fallen law enforcement officers from all over the country. There are stone lions at all four corners of the memorial; the lions are watching over cubs. It is a very nice memorial in and of itself; if you are in D.C., the Judiciary Square metro station is apparently right underneath, as the elevator actually comes up within the Memorial grounds.
When we were bussed in, there was one bus for each section; ours was in the lead. As we approached D.C., we were picked up by an escort of two motorcycle officers who escorted the busses to the memorial grounds. We had a little time before the ceremony began for photographs. Like the Vietnam Memorial, there are books at the Law Enforcement Memorial that index all of the names on the wall and direct you where to find them. A number of us did pencil impressions of officers we had known.
The ceremony was very moving. The director of the National Academy spoke, the director of the foundation that built and maintains the LEO Memorial spoke, and there was a scripture reading, prayer, and speakers from within our class. Following this, our class presented a wreath and then there was a roll call, in which students could read the name of a fallen officer from their department and the date of their last watch. One fellow student had brought his bagpipes and joined the pipe and drum unit that played. There were also two honor guards, one from D.C. Transit Police and one from the Park Police.
I am glad we had the opportunity to go. It did make for a longer evening, we left at 5:15 and did not get back until after 9:00, so I did not get any swimming or homework done last night. Since we have a speaker tonight, I don’t know if I will be able to do better tonight.