|Bird’s eye view of the Color Guard entering the 20th Anniversary Gala|
Guests celebrated 20 years of honoring America’s law enforcement officers—especially the fallen heroes—at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial’s 20th Anniversary Gala on Wednesday evening, October 12, in Washington, DC. All proceeds from the Gala benefit the National Law Enforcement Museum. The Honorable Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, served as Chair of the star-studded event. Actor Richard Belzer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. Also joining the celebration was actor and National Law Enforcement Museum National Spokesperson, Vincent D’Onofrio, who welcomed guests and introduced the event.
Other special moments from the evening included a video tribute from former President George H.W. Bush, who dedicated the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial 20 years ago, and now serves as Co-Chair of the National Honorary Campaign Committee of the National Law Enforcement Museum, along with former President Bill Clinton. Actor, director, and producer, Clint Eastwood, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and National Law Enforcement Museum, also shared some encouraging words of support for the Museum via video.
Stirring musical tributes from singer Daniel Rodriguez, Pipe Major Steve Butterbrodt of the Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department Pipe & Drums, and Officer Chris Jackson (ret.) of the Metropolitan Police Department of DC, were beautiful parts of the celebration. Linda Moon Gregory, National President of Concerns of Police Survivor, Pat Montuore, Police Unity Tour Founder and CEO, and Barb Lyons, Police Unity Tour participant and mother of fallen Oregon State Trooper Scott Lyons, also shared touching remarks.
Dick Wolf, of Law & Order fame, received the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s 2011 “Distinguished Service Award. The evening included a 20th Anniversary Memorial and Museum video tribute produced by A&E Television, that beautifully captured the meaning and essence of the Memorial and upcoming Museum.
The event offered one of the first glimpses of the upcoming Museum’s Hall of Remembrance, an exhibit designed to tell the stories behind the names currently inscribed on the national monument dedicated to America’s fallen law enforcement officers. It was a wonderful way to raise money for the Museum and recognize American law enforcement for their role in upholding the ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
Additionally, the announcement of a $2 million dollar gift to the National Law Enforcement Museum was made at the Memorial’s 20th Anniversary Gala. The gift from GLOCK, Inc. will be used to develop an educational and interactive exhibit at the National Law Enforcement Museum called The History Beat. GLOCK is a global manufacturer of pistols and accessories and is the pistol of choice for over 65% of American law enforcement agencies.