TITUSVILLE -- The annual placing of over 13,000 flags to honor those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty got underway Monday, as part of the Police Week observances at The American Police Hall of Fame. Each year, flags are placed on the grounds of the Hall of Fame in cooperation with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department via inmates from the Brevard County jail.
“They take this task very seriously and are always diligent about getting the job done,” said facility CEO Barry Shepherd. “A lot of folks drive by and think the flags are for Memorial Day...and they are, except they’re for Peace Officer’s Memorial Day, which is May 15.”
The week in which May 15 falls is known as “Police Week,” which culminates in a large Memorial observance on Friday night, May 14, at the facility. The Hall of Fame hosts hundreds of family survivors from across America and pays tribute to all officers lost in the line of duty, with special emphasis on those whose names have been added to the Memorial wall since the previous event. Because of COVID, the May 2020 event was cancelled. A record number of names – 497 – were etched in the marble walls of the Memorial rotunda in March, according to Museum President Tara Engel.
“The combined forces of COVID and social unrest have taken their toll on our men and women in law enforcement. We hope to never see another year like 2020 and we will do everything in our power to support, honor and serve all those who wear the badge and their families,” she said.
This year’s event promises to be the biggest yet, with survivors and honor guard pouring in from across the country. Additionally, the Police Unity Tour will be making a stop at the facility on Thursday and holding a special ceremony. The public is invited to attend and welcome these bicyclists supporting law enforcement. Riders begin arriving about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and the ceremony starts at 2 p.m.
The Hall of Fame Memorial observance begins at 7:00 p.m. on May 14 at the APHF at 6350 Horizon Drive in Titusville. The public is invited to attend and show its support for the family survivors who are there to honor and remember their loved ones and their dedication to duty. On Saturday, the APHF treats family survivors to a day at Kennedy Space Center. If you have questions, please contact the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum at 321-264-0911 or email Policeinfo@aphf.org.