By the President of the United States of America
Despite the dangers they face while patrolling our Nation's cities, neighborhoods, and highways, America's law enforcement officers continue to serve with commitment and distinction every day. They put themselves in harm's way to safeguard our fellow citizens, and their dedication to the rule of law is essential to maintaining a just and orderly society. Each year, Police Week is a welcome opportunity to recognize the brave men and women of the law enforcement professions, and on Peace Officers Memorial Day we pause to honor those who have given their lives while protecting others.
According to recent figures, 161 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty during 1995. And let us not forget the law enforcement personnel who died in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19-the single deadliest day in law enforcement history. Since police deaths were first recorded in this country, in 1794, more than 14,000 officers have lost their lives working to keep the peace in our communities. On average, more than 66,000 are assaulted every year, and some 24,000 are injured.
To pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to voice our appreciation for all those who currently serve on the front lines of the battle against crime, the Congress, by joint resolution approved October 1, 1962 (76 Stat. 676), has authorized and requested the President to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day," and the week in which it falls as "Police Week," and by Public Law 103-322 (36 U.S.C. 175) has directed that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 1996, as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and May 12 through May 18, 1996, as Police Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe these occasions with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs. I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and all areas under its jurisdiction and control. In addition, I invite all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on that day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:55 a.m., May 14, 1996]