Tens of thousands of law officers from the United States and beyond its shores are gathering in Washington for National Police Week, part of an annual pilgrimage to honor the fallen among their ranks.
The focal point for the week is the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, a courtyard bordered by two gently sloping, 304-foot-long, three-foot-high walls that bear the engraved names of more than 19,000 officers killed in the line of duty.
Most of the names added this year are officers who died in 2013; others are officers whose sacrifice had previously been lost to history.
This year, 286 names were added to that wall, including two from Massachusetts:
- Officer Sean Collier, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department. Collier was shot and killed during a large scale manhunt for suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. Officer Collier served with the MIT Police Department since January 2012 and previously worked as a civilian employee of the Somerville Police Department. On August 22, 2013, Collier was posthumously sworn in as a Somerville Police Officer.
- Officer John Lynch, Boston Police Department. Lynch died Sept. 19, 1944 of injuries sustained seven years earlier when he was assaulted by a a man he was attempting to arrest for being drunk in public. Lynch suffered severe head injuries in the assault and shortly after began to experience memory loss. His health continued to deteriorate until he passed away.
National Police Week is an annual event in Washington, DC, a week of color guards and sad salutes, of help for surviving families and the promise to, as an engraving on part of the wall implores, "Respect. Honor. Remember."