By Ryan Daugirda, Project Coordinator, IACP
For many, Memorial Day weekend is a time to relax, host a cookout with family and friends, or head to the beach. But it’s important to be mindful of why we observe Memorial Day: to honor the sacrifices that our fellow citizens have made for us so we may enjoy the freedoms we have today.
Earlier this month, FOP Lodge 89 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, dedicated a Soldier’s Memorial to honor fallen Police Officer Robert Hernandez. Officer Hernandez was a 10-year veteran of the Prince George’s County Police Department and a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 2006, while deployed to Iraq, Staff Sergeant Hernandez was killed by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations.
The plaque on the memorial reads, “This monument stands as a lasting tribute to those who have sacrificed defending our country. In the history of the citizen solder, select individuals stand out as examples of selfless service, dedication, honor and loyalty. For these individuals, service to the citizens of Prince George’s County was not enough. They also answered the call of our country and defended our nation in the United States Armed Forces. Regardless of the cost, sacrifices were made willingly, ensuring the bell of freedom would toll for all times. We pray that God has rewarded our fallen heroes and that Saint Michael will continue to shield and protect our warriors still on the battlefield.”
The idea of defending peace and freedom is inherent within law enforcement, as many law enforcement officers have served or continue to serve in the Reserve or National Guard. This Memorial Day, take a moment to honor the fallen and their sacrifices.