May 14, 2020
Tomorrow, Friday, May 15th is National Peace Officer Memorial Day. It is one of only two days when the flag of the United States of America is required by federal law to be flown at half-staff. The other day our flag is mandated to be flown at half-staff is the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, a holiday when we pay tribute to all those men and women who lost their lives serving in the armed services of our nation.
One hundred and thirty-five law enforcement officers lost their lives in the line of duty last year. Seven of those officers lost their lives in service here in Georgia and five of them were deputy sheriffs.
Many, if not most Americans, are familiar with the Vietnam Wall in our nation's capital that has the names of all of the men and women who paid the price of freedom with their lives fighting in that war engraved upon it. On the other hand, most Americans are totally unaware of the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. At this site you will find two circular marble walls which bear the names of all the law enforcement officers in our country who also made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives defending America. You can learn more about the memorial at www.nleomf.org .
There have been 307 new names engraved into the walls of the National Law Enforcement Memorial since last May 15th. The total number of names of officers who came to their deaths in the line of duty on the memorial's walls now stands at 21,910.
Regardless of the law, I suspect you will see few flags at half-staff tomorrow, but please take a moment tomorrow to reflect on the men and women who walk behind the badge and protect you here at home every day.
Howard R. Sills, Sheriff