On Sunday May 13th a Candlelight Vigil will take place in our Nation's Capital to remember the nearly 18,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty over the years. Some were dressed in blue, some wore brown, and others wore green. The names of the one hundred forty-five officers killed in 2006 will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial wall this week and on May 15th flags will be flown at half mast in honor of fallen officers and their families. These men and women were willing to run towards the danger, while others ran away, in order to protect us and our families.
Sunday May 13th is the beginning of what is known as National Police Week. It is a time set aside each year to recognize and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities. Once again, Oregon was lucky having not suffered any duty related deaths during 2006. History shows three officers in Clatsop County have made that ultimate sacrifice. The most recent was in 1996 when Reserve Officer Robert B. McMaster lost his life after being involved in a fatal traffic accident while responding to a silent alarm. In 1898, Sheriff Jack W. Williams and Deputy James Lamar were shot and killed attempting the arrest of a suspect. As we remember these officers and others, let's not forget to remember their families as well.
Beginning Sunday Officers in Oregon and throughout the nation will be wearing a single black band across their badge and blue ribbons will be tied to their vehicle antennas to remember their fallen comrades. You too can take part by placing a blue ribbon on your vehicle antenna to remember and recognize the sacrifices of those officers.
While we remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, let's also remember those still out there every day and every night. Please join me in saying THANK YOU to each and every one for being there. Let's let them know they are making a difference and we appreciate what they do.
Chief Robert Gross
Seaside Police Department