Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

THE 147

May 15 2007

 Mr. Speaker, under the hot summer-like sun of today, several thousand peace officers dressed in their bright uniforms, along with citizens, paid tribute to the 147 peace officers killed in service to America in 2006. Also honored were the families, the spouses, the children, the parents of these peace officers. This service today was held on the West side of the Capitol. It was attended by some of us in Congress and the President of the United States spoke.

   The wind blew the flags of the 50 States. They were held by peace officers, and the bagpipes played a solemn tribute in the background to these 147 peace officers. It was a fitting event sponsored for the 26th year of the Fraternal Order of Police.

   Mr. Speaker, I have known a lot of police officers for the last 30 years. I was a prosecutor for 8 years in Texas, and then a criminal court judge for 22 years. I came to know a lot of them. Those rare and noble breed that wear the badge of a peace officer are remarkable people. I have even known some that have given their lives in the line of duty for the rest of us.

   Peace officers that patrol the small towns or the big cities or the vastness of our counties, whether they are local, State or Federal officers, are America's first line of defense against the lawless, the criminals, the outlaws that live to steal, murder, rob and assault America. Keeping the peace this last year cost 147 men and women from across the Nation their lives. I will submit the names of these 147 names for the record.

   Peace officers are all that stand between the law and the lawless. They stand between the good and the evil. They stand between the people and the criminals. When they wear the badge, they are the protector of America's people and the public servant of all communities.

   They are on patrol 24 hours a day, so that the rest of us can go about our lives in peace. When we are fearful, they are fearless, and when we flee from terror, they run to terror. They are a cut above the rest of us. They are a true example of the public hero.

   So we do not forget the fallen and forget what they have done with this solemn reference today, we remember the 147.

   And that's just the way it is.