We salute Hawaii’s fallen officers

Kauai police are among the finest you’ll find. They serve this community with dedication and honor and, unlike most of us, have a job that could place them in dangerous situations every day. Police face challenges few are equipped to handle, and they do this so we can be safe.

While most police officers return home each night, some do not. Police deserve not only our respect and our thanks, but our appreciation for their courage and discipline and willingness to give their lives for ours. We must not forget this.

On average, a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 63 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, over 20,000 law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.

In line with the first day of this year’s Police Week, the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation will hold its second dedication and memorial service event on Sunday at 6 p.m. to honor Hawaii’s law enforcement officers from city, county, state, military and federal agencies who died while protecting and serving the people of Hawaii.

Police Week is observed across the nation as a time to honor and remember law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, as well as those who continue to protect and serve our community. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. In 2017, National Police Week falls on May 14 through 20.

“The Hawaii Law Enforcement Foundation was created to ensure that people who paid the ultimate sacrifice — their lives — to protect us, will always be remembered,” said Thomas Aiu, the foundation’s executive director. “This upcoming event is a time for our community to reflect and thank those who made sure we keep living safely here in Hawaii.”

This Sunday’s Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation Annual Dedication and Memorial Service will be held at the Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial in downtown Honolulu’s Capitol District. Elected officials, dignitaries, police officers and the community are expected to attend the memorial. Last year, over 300 people paid their respects to Hawaii’s fallen officers at the event.

Other Police Week events include a Police Week Procession and Police Week Memorial March on Monday, both of which are organized by the Honolulu Police Department.

It’s easy to be upset with police if we get a traffic ticket for going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. Or, if they flag us for using a cell phone while driving. Or failing to signal for a left turn. But when we have trouble coming our way, such as a stranger outside our homes at night, we call the police. If someone is hurt, we call police. If there is a domestic dispute, we call police.

And they respond. They don’t know what they might be facing, what volatile situation might await, but they respond. We can count on them. We can count on them to the point they will be there, regardless of the dangers. And that allows us to sleep peacefully.

Thank you, police, for the sacrifice made to keep us safe.

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