Hickory-A Memorial service honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty will be held at 1:00 PM, Friday, May 20, 2016, at Catawba Memorial Park, located at 3060 Highway 70 SE in Hickory.

Peace-officersA wreath laying ceremony, playing of bagpipes and Taps, and an honor guard firing a 21-gun salute will be included in the program. Keynote speaker will be the Honorable Sam J. Ervin, IV, NC Supreme Court Justice.

The yearly event coincides with National Police Week and is sponsored by the Catawba County Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls, as National Police Week, meaning that National Police Week 2016 will be Sunday, May 15th through Saturday, May 21st. Members of the national and state FOP will be in Washington, DC, for the national ceremonies.

On average, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 53 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice. In 2015, 128 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in the U.S. In addition, there were 27 K9 line of duty deaths.

For more information, call the FOP Office at 828-695-1704.

Photo: Catawba County FOP Law Enforcement Memorial Monument at Catawba Memorial Park.