The Peace Officers' Memorial: Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice

The families of fallen officers gathered in front of the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon for the 37th Annual Peace Officers' Memorial.

Posted: May 15, 2019 4:33 PM
Updated: May 15, 2019 6:06 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTHI) - It is called the most important moment of National Police Week.

The families of fallen officers gathered in front of the United States Capitol on Wednesday afternoon for the 37th Annual Peace Officers' Memorial.

Facts about law enforcement deaths

- In 2018, 158 officers were killed in the line of duty, 59 officers died with illnesses they contracted when they responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and 11 officers were honored that were not previously recognized.

- In 2018, 53 officers deaths were from gunfire, five of them were ambush killings.

- Since 1792, more than 21,000 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.

- Over the last 10 years, an average of one officer was killed every 55-hours.

- The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930 - 304 officers were killed.

- The deadliest decade for law enforcement was the 1920s. 2,437 officers died.

- The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11th, 2001. 72 officers were killed while responding to terror attacks.

- New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 705 deaths.

- Texas has lost more officers than any other state, with 1,682 officer deaths.

53 law enforcement officers were gunned down in 2018.

PHOTOS: NATIONAL POLICE WEEK IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

One of those officers was the Terre Haute Police Department's Rob Pitts.

May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

It is a day, in Washington, D.C. for the families of 228 fallen officers killed last year to grieve together.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | REMEMBERING OFFICER ROB PITTS 

Thousands filled the west front of the U.S. Capitol for the Capstone Police Week event.

Families heard from President Donald Trump during the somber memorial.

"Your loved ones were extraordinary and selfless Americans who gave everything they had in defense of our communities, our children, and our nation," President Trump said.

Indiana lost five officers last year, including Officer Pitts.

LINK | SALUTING A LEGACY OF HONOR: NATIONAL POLICE WEEK BLUE LIGHT CEREMONY

His name was read and his family was recognized.

We spoke with Officer Pitts' daughter, Brooke, earlier this week.

She told News 10's Heather Good this experience has been unreal, but she has gained strength from hearing the stories of other survivors.

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