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North Dakota Peace Officer Memorial Service May 17, 2017; “Thin Blue Line” to be displayed on Capitol building
BISMARCK, ND – Next week is National Police Week and North Dakota’s fallen law enforcement officers will be remembered and honored during public events at the state capitol and in local communities across the state.
“The memorial service gives us an opportunity to pay our respects to the law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to publicly thank those who continue to protect and serve,” said Stenehjem. “After dusk on Tuesday evening, for the first time the State Capitol building windows on two floors will be lit to display a ‘Thin Blue Line,’ in a show of support and respect for law enforcement,” he continued.
The Thin Blue Line blue light display was suggested by Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin, who asked Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to seek approval for the display. Stenehjem asked legislative leaders to support the idea and it received enthusiastic support from the North Dakota Legislature, which authorized the display in Senate Concurrent Resolution 4015.
“What better way for the State of North Dakota to show support for its law enforcement officers, who go out every day and put their lives on the line serving and protecting, than to have a ‘Thin Blue Line’ lit up on our State Capitol during National Police Week! That ‘Thin Blue Line’ represents the law enforcement officers, past and present, who stand strong between violence and anarchy, and peace and order,” said Bismarck Police Department Chief Dan Donlin.
On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, a Blue Mass honoring law enforcement and first responders will be held at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck, beginning at 5:30 pm. Honor guards from the ND Peace Officers Association will be represented. The Mass is open to the public.
On Wednesday May 17, 2017, the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service will be held on the Capitol grounds in Bismarck, beginning at 1:30 pm. In January this year, Rolette County Sheriff’s Deputy Colt Allery was shot and killed, becoming the sixty-fourth North Dakota law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty. His name has been added to the state’s Law Enforcement Memorial.
Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle and US Attorney Chris Myers will speak at the Memorial service, Chief Robert Timian of ND Game and Fish will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, and Captain Mickey Harmon of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department will play the bagpipes. Chaplains from the Crisis Care Chaplaincy will officiate and read the Roll Call of fallen officers. The Crisis Care Chaplaincy is a volunteer organization providing faith-based crisis counseling in concert with emergency service agencies in the Bismarck area.
“The past year has been difficult and stressful for North Dakota’s law enforcement officers. We are extremely grateful to our neighbors, local businesses, and communities across the state for the outpouring of support for us,” said Jackie Lundstrom, President of the ND Peace Officers Association. “This year we added another fallen officer’s name to the memorial. It is years like this that make the memorial itself and the memorial service even more important,” Lundstrom continued. The ND Peace Officers Association organizes the annual Memorial Service.
On Wednesday night after the Memorial Service, the Capitol building’s Thin Blue Line light display will shine for a second night in honor of the fallen officers.
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For more information about National Police Week and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service, see www.policeweek.org.