Op-ed: Honoring our peace-keepers


Op-Ed about honoring our peace-keepers, local police officers, by Franklin County District Attorney Matt Fogal

On May 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy declared May 15 to be Peace Officers Memorial Day. The entire week would be recognized annually as Police Week.  

President Kennedy encouraged the citizenry of this Nation “to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week in this year and each succeeding year with appropriate ceremonies in which all our people may join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities have rendered a dedicated service to their communities.”  

President Kennedy issued that Proclamation following a Joint Resolution by the Congress of the United States of America, which continues to reflect the voice of all of the citizenry:

“[T]he police officers of America have worked devotedly and selflessly in behalf of the people of this Nation, regardless of the peril or hazard to themselves; these officers have safeguarded the lives and property of their fellow Americans; by the enforcement of our laws, these same officers have given our country internal freedom from fear of the violence and civil disorder that is presently affecting other nations; these men and women by their patriotic service and their dedicated efforts have earned the gratitude of the Republic.”

Recognizing special men and women

I annually release an Op-Ed at this time of year to recognize this day and week. It is usually not published due to the time of year and competing Letters to the Editor surrounding our primary elections in Pennsylvania, however.  

There is no such competition this particular year, and unfortunately no such opportunity for a gathering or ceremony to recognize these particularly special men and women in uniform.  

But if nothing else, please take a brief pause to thoughtfully reflect on their service; and also upon the precision of the words in above text from our former leaders.  

If you see police this week, please thank them.  Now more than ever, “One Team, One Fight.”  

Op-Ed: honoring

Born and raised in Chambersburg, PA, Matt graduated from Cumberland Valley Christian School in Chambersburg, later graduated with honors from Shippensburg University, and earned a law degree from the Penn State University Dickinson School of Law. He has been Franklin County’s District Attorney sine 2009.