May 15: Peace Officers Memorial Day
You’ve likely heard of Memorial Day, but have you heard of Peace Officers Memorial Day? This observance takes place in the United States each year on May 15th, just a couple of short weeks before Memorial Day weekend.
Recognizing Peace Officers on May 15
Though it is not a federal public holiday in the United States (which is likely why it’s a lesser known day of recognition) Peace Officers Memorial Day is an important observance that recognizes and pays tribute to local, state, and federal peace officers who have died or been disabled in the line of duty.
Peace Officers Memorial Day was created in 1961 and was formally established as a holiday in the United States one year later when President John F. Kennedy signed the proclamation into law on October 1, 1962.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton established that the US flag should be flown at half-staff on May 15. (You can read this year’s half-staff proclamation from President Joe Biden here.)
Peace Officers Memorial Day falls during National Police Week each year, which recognizes law enforcement officers at the local, state, and federal levels who work to serve and protect our communities and citizens. The exact dates of National Police Week shift each year, depending on where May 15 falls on the calendar.
What is a Peace Officer?
When learning about this observance, many wonder exactly what a peace officer is. Essentially, peace officers are law enforcement officials.
Those recognized on Peace Officers Memorial Day include police officers, sheriffs, state troopers, corrections officers, campus police, and other officials with law enforcement powers who have been killed or severely injured while serving.
How to Celebrate Peace Officers Memorial Day & National Police Week
To observe Peace Officers Memorial Day, many people, businesses and government agencies fly their flags at half staff. Some also choose to fly the traditional thin blue line flag in honor of the law enforcement officers who serve and protect us.
Throughout National Police Week there are often events and services to honor those law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty, and those still dutifully serving. There is typically a National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the US Capitol on May 15. Many also choose to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. as part of their acknowledgment of Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week.
Honoring Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
Looking to show your support for peace officers? Want to honor a fallen officer you know personally? We have just what you need to recognize this important holiday:
Traditional 3 Stripe Thin Blue Line Flag – Available in various sizes. Made in the USA.
American Flags – We carry dozens of different American flags in various sizes and styles, ideal for indoor and outdoor use.
Black Mourning Ribbon – Perfect for flying along with your flag if you’re unable to lower it to half staff.
Police Grave Markers – A beautiful way to honor and recognize a law enforcement officer after he or she has been laid to rest.
Have questions about Peace Officers Memorial Day, National Police Week, or any of the flag products you might use to recognize them? Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-697-3524 and we’d be happy to assist you!