Mayor Steve Ponto's remarks for the city's National Police Week Ceremony:
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a Presidential Proclamation that set aside May 15th as National Police Officers Memorial Day and the week which includes May 15th as National Police Week. It is a time of honoring, remembering and healing.
There is liberty in law. However, if we are to be truly free, there must be law enforcement. Today, we thank those who protect us through law enforcement, and we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in that effort, and the families that they left behind.
There are more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout the history of this country. Their names are carved into the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. In January of this year, my wife and I visited the Memorial. It is very impressive and visiting it is a moving experience. I am sure a number of you have visited it as well — and some of you have served as part of an honor guard at the Memorial.
The Memorial features four bronze lions — two males and two females — each watching over a pair of lion cubs. Below each of the four adult lions is a different quotation. One of those quotations is from former President George H.W. Bush:
"Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream."
On our own wall here in Brookfield, the following is carved in the wall:
"We honor the dead by serving the living."
On behalf of the residents of the City of Brookfield, I want to thank all the members of our Police Department for their efforts to serve and protect our community.