ALAMOSA — A breeze brought many flags in front of the Police Department to life for the annual San Luis Valley Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony in Alamosa on Wednesday, May 12. Leaders from local law enforcement agencies and elected officials spoke at the event including Alamosa Chief of Police Ken Anderson, Alamos County Sheriff Robert Jackson and Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman among others.
Peace Officer Memorial Day began on Oct. 1, 1962, with a proclamation from former President John F. Kennedy designating May 15 as Peace Officer Memorial Day and the encompassing week as Police Week.
Anderson spoke first at the memorial.
“Tonight, we are here to pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to voice our appreciation to all those who currently serve on the front lines of the battle against crime,” he said.
The event was attended by several local police departments as well as fire departments and first responders. Alamosa Fire and Monte Vista Fire ladder trucks hoisted the American flag to welcome a procession of law enforcement vehicles to the street in front of the Alamosa Police Department.
“Not only do (law enforcement officers) have to deal with the physical toll that the job places on their bodies they also have to deal with the mental strain as well," said Coleman of the difficulties of the job. Coleman Also told the story of his mother, Virginia Coleman, who was a police officer in the city of Houston, Texas.
Sheriff Jackson was the last to speak before the customary rifle salute to the fallen accompanied by a trumpet rendition of Taps and the lowering of the flag to half-mast.
“We pay tribute to those law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. We gather as witnesses, when words like courage and sacrifice are no longer abstract ideals but instead part of reality,” said Jackson.
Mayor Coleman thanked the officers and first responders.
“Law enforcement officers and first responders, we appreciate all the things you do for our community. And for all the caring things you do, we love you, Blue," Coleman said.