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Sunday will mark the start of National Police Week, an annual commemoration of the work police officers do throughout the nation.

The observance got its start in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington to participate in a number of events that honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, according to www.policeweek.org.

The Memorial Service began in 1982, in Senate Park, with a gathering of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the service has grown to include a series of events that attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to the nation’s Capitol each year.

The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events that includes the candlelight vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors.

National Police Week in May draws between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world, according to www.policeweek.org.

This year, due to COVID-19, events will be held virtually during National Police Week, with in-person events set for October.

Also in observance of National Police Week, the Clinton Herald will publish a special section on May 8 thanking officers for the work they do in the Gateway area. The section will include local feature stories and photos of officers.

We also are asking our readers, who feel so inclined, to send in messages to our officers thanking them for the work they do. Those messages will be published in the section and can be sent to news@clintonherald.com. The deadline to submit is noon Thursday, May 6.

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