VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Beginning in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day to remember fallen officers and those who were disabled on duty, the week also designated National Police Week, members across the nation have paid recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
At Vandenberg Air Force Base, National Police Week is usually celebrated with memorials, ceremonies, and various activities that bring 30th Space Wing Security Forces Squadron defenders, local law enforcement and agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations together to commemorate their fallen colleagues. However, this year, from May 11-15, Police Week will be celebrated a little differently.
“Due to COVID-19, we are unable to participate in our usual events,” said Tech. Sgt. Amber Salinas, 30th SFS visitor control center NCO in charge. “However, we want to make sure that we take the week to honor fallen officers, not only on the military side, but the civilian side that gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
In commemoration, there will be a memorial wreath at the main entrance to the installation and at the Base Exchange. Also at the Exchange, there will be a memorial display with a book of fallen defenders to honor their stories and history.
While the traditional activities of Police Week have screeched to a mere halt due to a global pandemic, the jobs of law enforcement members have not.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights, once again, the sacrifices of our first responders,” said Lt. Col. James Nelson, 30th SFS commander. “As the rest of the nation takes a knee to do their part in flattening the curve, our defenders, along with civilian law enforcement, are charged with ‘holding the line’ to ensure the safety and security of the public it is sworn to protect. Even with the increased risk, Vandenberg’s defenders march on and do their duty to protect those on the installation.”
For over 60 years, this week of observance has brought people across the nation together in appreciation of those who put their lives on the line to keep the nation safe. While this year’s celebrations have been canceled due to COVID-19, Vandenberg AFB is still honoring those members and is grateful for the continuous contributions made daily by its law enforcement.