Candelight vigil for fallen police who ‘helped make this world a better, safer place’

SHOUT OUT: Tens of thousands paused last night to formally dedicate to formally dedicate the addition names of 321 fallen law enforcement heroes to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Photo Credit: ABOVE / BELOW): Fair Lawn Police Officer Michael O’Brien
Photo Credit: ABOVE / BELOW): Fair Lawn Police Officer Michael O’Brien

Of those added, 120 were officers killed in the line of duty during 2012, while 201 were officers previously undiscovered.

Several were New Jersey State Police troopers or NJ state correction officers (SEE BELOW).

Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, welcomed an estimated 20,000 law enforcement officers, survivors and supporters before introducing Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who delivered opening remarks, as part of National Police Week 2013.

“Although no words, and no ceremony, can erase the pain we feel at each tragic and untimely loss, my hope is that the families, friends, and colleagues of these fallen heroes can find peace in the certain knowledge that they died doing what they loved.  They helped to make this world a far better, and safer, place,”  U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. told the gathering.

“And despite the fact that these brave officers were taken from us far too suddenly – and far too soon – their legacies, and contributions, will always endure,” he said.

Special recognition went to representatives of some of the Boston-area agencies that “demonstrated an exceptionally high level of work” in capturing the marathon bombers while protecting their communities.

NYPD Sgt. Michael Devine and Port Authority Police Officer Steve Butterbrodt who provided musical tributes during the ceremony.

The national monument now contains the names of 19,981 fallen law enforcement officers.

They come from all 50 states; the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and also include federal law enforcement, corrections, railroad and military police agencies.

All have died in the performance of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known officer death in 1791.

(VIGIL PHOTOS ABOVE / BELOW): Fair Lawn Police Officer Michael O’Brien)

READ MORE: National Police Week: Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice

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