On Thursday, the nation pause to remember the law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty.
A part of National Police Week, Peace Officer's Memorial Day, reminds us all the integral part law enforcement agencies play in our daily lives and the potential dangers these brave men and women face every day.
These times of observance were established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy to celebrate and commemorate the service provided by city, state and county police agencies throughout the country.
The law was amended in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, directing that flags be displayed at half-staff on all government buildings on May 15 each year in memory of those who lost their lives upholding justice.
There are more than 836,787 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States. Each year, there are more than 33 million crimes committed nationwide, a staggering average of one crime every two seconds.
In 2013 alone, 105 police officers gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities. So far in 2014, 31 officers have been killed.
On average, a law enforcement officer is killed every 58 hours.
Although we depend upon the myriad of law enforcement officers in Central West Virginia to serve us selflessly each day, we seldom give thanks to these community leaders who protect life, liberty and property.
On Thursday, the Elkins Police Department will be distributing blue ribbons to be displayed on vehicle antennas to memorialize those who have lost their lives and support those that continue to protect.
Elkins Mayor Van Broughton also will sign a proclamation Thursday commemorating the day.
We encourage all community members to take time out of their busy schedules this week to give thanks to those who continue to protect and serve and to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our protection.