Six members of the Palm Beach Police Department -- Detectives Daniel A. Wilkinson and Gabrio Badolati, Officers Erick Q. Ward, Jr., Fred C. Waymire and Adam C. Zeller, and Captain Michael T. Keehan - comprise the Palm Beach Honor Guard, which spent Sunday, May 13 through Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in Washington, DC to participate in National Police Week.
The annual commemoration began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.
Captain Keehan said there were easily 10,000 law enforcement officers from around world in Washington, DC to participate in events honoring those killed in the line of duty.
On Sunday, the Palm Beach Honor Guard participated in the 30th Annual Candle Light Vigil at the National Mall.
On Monday, they stood watch at the Police Memorial during the wreath laying ceremony, and on Tuesday, they attended the National Memorial Service on the West Lawn of the Capitol, also attended by President Trump and Vice President Pence.
"This year 360 names were added to the wall - 129 were names of officers killed in the line of duty this year. The rest of the names added were of officers from decades past that had not yet been honored. The agencies really put forth an effort so that the fallen would be properly recognized," said Captain Keehan, who explained that for several years, the Palm Beach Honor Guard could not participate because of the budget cuts.
"The Palm Beach Police Foundation, which paid our airfare and lodging -- and helped us get there for the last few years -- is always so supportive. It is a big honor for our unit to be there, participate and experience the strong camaraderie between the agencies. It's a big brotherhood for men in blue. It is very moving, and it means so much to us to be able to be there in support of the fallen officers and their families," Captain Keehan said.