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Public Papers - 1991 - October

Proclamation 6357 -- National Law Enforcement Memorial Dedication Day, 1991

1991-10-15

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Each and every day of the year -- and at every hour of the day -- our Nation's law enforcement officers walk the thin blue line, putting themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and the property of their fellow Americans. Statistics provided by the Department of Justice underscore the risks and sacrifices that they accept for our sake: on average, one officer dies in the line of duty every 57 hours; that is, 150 law enforcement personnel each year. Another 20,000 are injured, and some 60,000 are assaulted. Because such numbers, like news headlines, can too often belie the reality of human suffering, we must always remember that each of these officers is a beloved son or daughter, a husband or wife, a sister or brother, a mother or father, or a friend.

This year, on October 15, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial will be dedicated in Washington, D.C., to honor these American heroes. The names of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country are inscribed along the Memorial's ``Pathway of Remembrance.'' They include names such as that of U.S. Marshal Robert Forsyth, who, in 1794, became the first American law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty. He was killed while serving an arrest warrant.

The Memorial also contains the names of Hammond, Indiana, Police Officer Donald P. Cook, who was shot and killed in January 1947 after serving only 7 days on the job; New Salem, North Dakota, Police Chief Ed Memby, who was shot and killed in July 1953 by a man who refused to pay a 1 cent sales tax on a soda; U.S. Marshal Samuel Enoch Vaugh, the father of 13 children, who was shot and killed by a prisoner in August 1953; and Julie Y. Cross, the first female Secret Service casualty, who was shot and killed during a stakeout in October 1979. These, of course, are just a few of the brave and selfless individuals to whom our National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial has been dedicated. We also remember with solemn pride and gratitude the hundreds of others who have gone before them, as well as those who have since joined their ranks.

Years from now, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial will continue to remind visitors of the debt that we owe to those who have died in the service of public safety and justice. On this occasion, however, as we honor the fallen, let us also remember the heroic individuals who, at this very moment, continue to wage our Nation's fight against crime. Let us pray for their well-being, and let us offer them our wholehearted cooperation and support.

To heighten public awareness of the risks and the responsibilities that law enforcement officers face each day, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 107, has designated October 15, 1991, as ``National Law Enforcement Memorial Dedication Day'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 15, 1991, as National Law Enforcement Memorial Dedication Day. I urge all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.

George Bush

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:02 p.m., October 15, 1991]

Note: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on October 17.

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