Sunday on their Facebook page, the Stoughton Police Department asked the community to, “Please keep a thought for our fellow officers who have fallen on this Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Day.”
For those of you not familiar, President John F. Kennedy set aside, by Presidential Proclamation in 1962, every May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, as well as the week it falls on as National Police Week.
One of the event’s sponsors, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, states that “on average one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty…every 53 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The poem, In The Line of Duty captures the essense of National Police Week with a poignant reminder:
“Today an officer will place their badge on their chest. To fulfill the dreams of heroes killed In The Line of Duty.”
This week presents, not only a time to say a silent thank you to the 316 officers being added to the memorial in Washington D.C., but also an opportune time to recognize the brave men and women who currently serve and protect us.
There are many ways to pay tribute to fallen officers and to appreciate those in blue today. While I only share a sampling, please refer to the websites (listed below) for additional information and ideas to commemorate National Police Week.
Ways families can share their thanks…
Silent Tributes For Fallen Officers
* Write an online tribute on National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website, http://www.nleomf.com/.
* Light a Candle: Though the candlelight vigil at the Memorial itself was held on May 13, a family vigil of your own this week is a fitting way to include the entire family.
Appreciation for Current Officers
I will say it every time, the best way to show your thanks is with an old fashion hand-written thank you note. Is there an officer who helped you or took the time to say hello to your police obsessed son? Send them a personal note and as eHow.com suggests, enclose a note asking the chief to put a copy in the officer’s personnel file.
Food is always a great way to celebrate your appreciation. Share the fun with friends and family, that way you can provide enough food for the entire department to enjoy while not breaking the bank. Depending on your time and/or budget there are several options…
* Breakfast-Bagels, Muffins, Doughnuts (though completely stereotypical), Box of Joe, etc.
* Lunch-Sandwich Platter, potato salad and chips. If time doesn’t allow a personal drop off, many restaurants deliver and pizza is both an economical and well-liked choice.
* Sweet Treats-Now who doesn’t love sweets? Be it brownies, cookies or a full-fledged ice cream sundae bar. Here are some time saving tips if this is the route you choose.
* Time Saving tips:
- Packaged mixes are not only a great time saver; they also taste just as good as homemade.
- Bake brownies in a mini cupcake pan for a faster cook time and better presentation
- Bake cookie dough in a pizza pan to make a cookie cake. Not only does it save time by eliminating the individual cookie prep, it is much easier, too!
* It is also worth asking local stores and restaurants for donations toward your gifts. Grocery stores sometime donate gift certificates to non-profit organizations which could then be used to purchase items such as muffin mix, coffee, deli meats and rolls that you could prepare at home and then deliver in person.
Kid-Created Thank Yous
Collage Card-using a blank card, have your toddler glue pictures or stickers all over the front of the card. Using a crayon, guided by your hand, they can write out THANK YOU and their name. It doesn’t get much cuter than that and is a great way to have your toddler get in on the fun.
Preschool & Lower Elementary
* Use this great thank you note template and coloring sheet: http://twistynoodle.com/worksheets/transportation/cars/i-am-thankful-for-our-police-worksheet/
* With a colored stamp pad, have the kids use their fingerprints to spell out THANK YOU. If they are able, have them write their own sentiments inside. Be sure to let them spell the words, even if it is “phonetically spelled,” that is an added touch! You can include a cute postscript to the effect of “this is the only time you will see our fingerprints.”
* If you have a photo of a police officer that has helped you, add it to this fun toilet paper roll craft, http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/miscellaneous/mpolice.htm
* Coloring Sheets are also a good way to let officers know the kids are thinking of them, http://www.coloring-pages-kids.com/coloring-pages/family-people-jobs-coloring-pages/police-coloring-pages/police-coloring-pages-gallery.php
Upper Elementary and beyond
* Thankful Poem-written or typed, a poem is always meaningful. Use white paper for the poem itself and then mat it on a colored piece of card stock.
* Sketched Portrait-like to draw? How about capturing the police station or a town cruiser? A piece of such personalized art is a wonderful way to show your appreciation.
* Framing these projects is an inexpensive way to add a special touch while encouraging the officers to hang it in the station!
However you chose to appreciate and honor our law enforcement, I encourage you to reflect on the following:
“Police officers and emergency operators work around the clock to keep you safe. They willingly miss out on family time during the weekend and weeknights. Officers are out patrolling the street when you are asleep in your bed. Although the press likes to broadcast stories of officers making bad decisions, many more officers are doing whatever they can to be positive additions to the community they serve. There are many more great police officers than bad ones.”
In closing, I want to do some public thanking of my own. I would like to thank and congratulate Executive Officer Robert Devine for being named the Veterans of Foreign Wars Police Officer of the Year as well as Officer Steve Collins for completing the FBI LEEDA Supervisory Leadership Institute. Their hardwork and dedication to the Stoughton Police Department is to be commended!
For additional information on National Police Week…