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Remembering the fallen

Fifty-six years ago today, the late President John F. Kennedy declared May 15 Peace Officers Memorial Day, a day for civilians to honor and remember those officers who died in the line of duty.

Fifty-three officers have been killed in the line of duty this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks law enforcement officer fatalities. Of those killed in 2018, 28 were reported to have been fatally shot, including two from Indiana:

On May 4, Officer Rob Pitts of the Terre Haute Police Department was fatally shot while conducting a homicide investigation. And on March 2, Deputy Sheriff Jacob Pickett of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department was fatally shot while he and other deputies were pursuing suspects in Lebanon, Ind.

Officers frequently put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. Every so often, the public should show gratitude for those sacrifices made on their behalf. Today is one of those days.

In recognition of Peace Officers Memorial Day, Gov. Eric Holcomb has directed all flags be flown at half-staff today. But paying respect need not end there.

Civilians may show their support in simple ways, like tying blue ribbons around trees or illuminating household porches with blue lights. Thanking officers for their work goes a long way, too.