Currently there is no single national day set aside to honor our dedicated men and women in law enforcement, and fire and rescue. We lost 221 members in 2017 combined from on-duty incidents. In 1962, President Kennedy declared May 15 as National Police Officers Day. Since then, many other jurisdictions have honored them with days that have very low visibility and are known only to the honorees, local officials, their families and a few informed citizens.

There is no need to create a new holiday. My suggestion is to honor them on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. Historians have determined that there is strong historically linkage to the Irish contributions in the early formation of both services back to the mid 1800s. Many Irish cultural means are proudly represented in both services. We can show them our appreciation with our applause when marching in parades in full uniform throughout our country. Also, in other events during the month, we can signal them to stand for our applause as we do with our veterans. The day for this honor should have both solemnity and celebration and St. Patrick’s Day certainly fits the bill. This honor is long overdue.

Bob Sweeney

Warwick, R.I.

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