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Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony Honors Fallen Washington, DC Metropolitan Area and Federal Officers
Fairfax County Virginia Chief and COPS National President Pay Tribute to 21 Who Died in Previous 12-Month Period

Wreathlaying 2006On Tuesday, October 10th, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund honored 21 law enforcement officers from the Washington DC area and from federal government posts around the country in its annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in the nation's capital.

Fairfax County, Virginia Chief David M. Rohrer, who had two of his officers gunned down in May by a man who laid siege in a mad rampage at the Sully District police station, joined Jean Hill, the National President of COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) in paying tribute to "the most honorable of honorable of the law enforcement community-those who made the ultimate sacrifice."

Craig W. Floyd, NLEOM Chairman, said, "The wreath placed at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is symbolic of the circle of life, and the everlasting remembrance and respect we will always have for those who laid down their lives for our safety and protection. Our memories of these courageous men and women and their families shall not wither, and their stories will be a constant source of inspiration to us all."

Joining the tribute was Sun Mingshan, who laid a second wreath on behalf of the Chinese Police Association, an organization that honors police officers who die in the line of duty in China. He said his organization wanted to participate in today's ceremony "to demonstrate that the brotherhood of law enforcement is global and that the respect for officers killed while doing their jobs has no political or cultural boundaries."

Law enforcement leaders from the agencies represented joined survivors, friends and other law enforcement officers at the event. Honor guards from more than 20 law enforcement agencies stood vigil throughout the day.

The ceremony also marked the 15th anniversary of the Memorial's dedication in 1991 by former President George H.W. Bush. The Memorial walls are inscribed with the names of 17,536 federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, serving their country and their communities.

The names of the officers inscribed on the Memorial's marble panels date back to the first known law enforcement death in 1792. If officer fatalities continue to occur at the current average annual rate of 164 per year, the Memorial will reach its engraving capacity around the year 2050.

Click here to read the names of the officers honored at the Wreathlaying Ceremony.