Peace Officers Memorial Day in the United States
Peace Officers Memorial Day is held annually in the United States on May 15 in honor of federal, state and local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. It is observed in conjunction with Police Week.
What Do People Do?
Many people in the United States will pay tribute to officers who lost their lives or were injured in their jobs. According to Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), about 140-160 officers are killed in the line of duty each year and their families and co-workers are left to cope with the tragic loss.
Many businesses and community members across the nation, especially those who lost family members, friends or colleagues who were local officers, will lower their flags in remembrance of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Some police departments hold an annual law enforcement memorial ceremony on this day.
Each year, the Fraternal Order of Police and its Auxiliary organizes a national memorial service on the day, drawing thousands of people from many parts of the United States. The service is followed by the placement of a memorial wreath at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington DC. On this day, people are also reminded of the need to be vigilant against all forms of crime.
Peace Officers Memorial Day is an observance but it is not a federal public holiday in the United States. Some people may take some time off work, such as an extended lunch break if a memorial service is held at noon, to attend a memorial service on this day.
The idea of a Peace Officers Memorial Day came into effect on October 1, 1961, when Congress asked the president to designate May 15 to honor law enforcement officers. President John F Kennedy signed the bill into law on October 1, 1962. Each year, the president of the United States proclaims May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week of each year during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week.
According to the Legal Information Institute, the president is requested to issue a proclamation to: designate May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day; to direct government officials to display the United States flag at half staff on all government buildings; and to invite state and local governments and the people to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Peace Officers Memorial Day Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Sat||May 15||2010||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Sun||May 15||2011||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Tue||May 15||2012||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Wed||May 15||2013||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Thu||May 15||2014||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Fri||May 15||2015||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Sun||May 15||2016||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Mon||May 15||2017||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Tue||May 15||2018||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Wed||May 15||2019||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
|Fri||May 15||2020||Peace Officers Memorial Day||Observance|
Quick FactsPeace Officers Memorial Day is held annually in the United States on May 15 in honor of federal, state and local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.
Peace Officers Memorial Day 2017Monday, May 15, 2017
Peace Officers Memorial Day 2018Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Name in other languages
|Peace Officers Memorial Day||English|
|Día del Recuerdo de los Oficiales de Paz||Spanish|
|קציני שלום יום הזיכרון||Hebrew|
|ضباط السلام يوم الذكرى||Arabic|
|평화 임원 현충일||Korean|
|Peace Officers Memorial Day||Norwegian|
|Gedenktag für “Peace Officers”||German|
- Memorial Day – Monday, May 29, 2017
- State Holiday – Thursday, January 19, 2017, Monday, April 24, 2017, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Other holidays in May 2017 in the United States
- Law Day – Monday, May 1, 2017
- Yom Ha'atzmaut – Tuesday, May 2, 2017
- Kent State Shootings Remembrance – Thursday, May 4, 2017
- Cinco de Mayo – Friday, May 5, 2017
- National Nurses Day – Saturday, May 6, 2017
- Truman Day – Monday, May 8, 2017
- State Holiday – Wednesday, May 10, 2017
- Lag BaOmer – Sunday, May 14, 2017
- National Defense Transportation Day – Friday, May 19, 2017
- Armed Forces Day – Saturday, May 20, 2017
- National Maritime Day – Monday, May 22, 2017
- Emergency Medical Services for Children Day – Wednesday, May 24, 2017
- Ascension Day – Thursday, May 25, 2017
- Ramadan starts – Saturday, May 27, 2017
- Memorial Day – Monday, May 29, 2017
- Shavuot – Wednesday, May 31, 2017