Sunset News: Obama MIA / Police Week

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Obama MIA / Police Week

Obama MIA / Police Week


While it's tradition for the World Series Champions to visit the
White House each year there is also another tradition that happens in
Washington, DC every May 15th. It is known as National Peace Officers
Memorial Day and was signed into law on October 1, 1962 by President
John F. Kennedy. That is the day that a ceremony is held at the United
States Capitol to honor all law enforcement officers who made the
Supreme Sacrifice the previous year. Historically, the President of
the United States is the keynote speaker and welcomes the survivors as
each officer's name is announced and the family places a flower in the
FOP wreath in honor of their loved one.

The husbands, wives and children of the 134 office
rs killed last year in the Line of Duty were not the only family
members who came to the ceremony. Their mothers, fathers, sisters and
brothers also came to the Capitol to honor their hero. Also, the
officers that served with them were in attendance. So there they were,
almost 1,000 police survivors from every corner of the country, seated
on the West Lawn of the Capitol waiting to be welcomed by the
President only to find that he was unable to attend due to a photo
opportunity and a 10 minute speech to a baseball team.

It's not the Phillies fault that the President of the United States
was busy welcoming them to the Rose Garden, they deserved that, but if
it was known that the Law Enforcement Memorial Service was scheduled
for noon on May 15th I'm sure an adjustment would have been made to
accommodate both.

My question is how do you tell a child whose parent was killed
protecting his community, that the President would not be coming to
honor his mom or dad because even though he was just down the street
he was too busy taking a picture with a baseball team. The City of
Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley and our country has seen way too
many officers killed in the Line of Duty. FYI...there are 18,661 names
on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in
Washington, DC, and one horrible fact remains. Every 53 hours a Polic
e Officer is killed in the Line of Duty.

At every funeral you see the outpouring of grief and sympathy from
our citizens. There are fund raisers at Geno's, Finnegan's Wake, the
FOP and numerous establishments around the city to support the
officer's family. We as Police Officers cannot thank the citizens
enough for their kindness, generosity and support, but the men and
women who were in DC for Police Week are reeling from the President's
decision not to pay his respects by attending the memorial service but
instead chose to welcome a baseball team to the Rose Garden. There is
no comparison. There is no excuse. There is no justification. I don't
understand his reasoning....go pay my respects to 134 Police Officers
killed in the Line of Duty or take a picture with a baseball team.


I became a Police Officer in 1974 and retired in 2001 and in those
35 years I may have missed 4 or 5 funerals but I've yet to miss the
Memorial Service in DC.. His disregard of the 134 Fallen Officers,
their families and departments is beyond comprehension. IT IS A


Sgt. Richard G. Desmond

Camden NJPD/Retired

President/1994 - Present

Camden County Emerald Society

Past National President/2002-2005

National Conference of Law Enforcement Emerald Societies

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