WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – An annual event honoring fallen law enforcement officers is moving online this year.
“I think it took us about an hour to pivot,” Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum said.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Ferranto and dedicated members of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum decided this year’s candlelight vigil would move off the National Mall and onto the internet.
“We got some great minds together and we just said, ‘OK if we can’t meet on the National Mall, what are we going to do at 8 o’clock on Wednesday the 13th of May?’” she said.
The annual event would normally bring tens of thousands of people to the National Mall to remember the men and women of law enforcement who lost their lives in the line of duty. But this Wednesday, people around the world can log on and join in lighting virtual candles as the names of fallen officers are read aloud.
“We have a goal of lighting 22,217 virtual candles – one candle for each name on the wall,” Ferranto said.
One thing that can’t be done virtually is engraving names of the fallen into the memorial wall.
“These guys are line by line, name by name, adding 307 names to the wall as we speak,” she said.
Ferranto said the virtual vigil is a way to honor all the men and women who risk their lives to serve and protect us.
“What a way for the country to come together for law enforcement in remembering the ways that have fallen and the ones that are going out daily to protect us,” she said.
Ferranto expects next year’s list of fallen officers will sadly include many who gave their lives on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.
If you’re interested in joining Wednesday’s virtual memorial, you can find more information here.