Police Week 2015
Today, the Police Memorial Parade and Memorial Service were held in honor of Police Memorial Commemoration. Police Week honors those officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Hundreds of officers from all over the country and even Canada came to Cleveland in honor of the memorial service.
People lined the streets to watch the parade, braving the cool breeze and cold rain to honor and support law enforcement. Pipe bands and honor guards marched by, one by one, followed by many unique and interesting police vehicles.
The Police Memorial Parade is heavy with tradition and symbolism. Nothing is more evident of the symbolism than the final piece of the parade, the riderless horse. The mount is draped in a black blanket and wears an empty saddle with boots placed backward in the stirrups. The horse without rider symbolizes the final ride of a fallen officer, looking back at his troops, his family, one last time.
The featured speaker this year was Ms. Sydni Owens, the 15 year old daughter of fallen Cleveland Police Officer Derek Owens who was killed in the line of duty in 2008. Ms. Owens so eloquently described her dad and the life she has lived on without him by her side. She talked about what it is truly like for surviving family members to go on without their loved one, moving many in the crowd to tears. Many of us within the Division of Police and the Northeast Ohio community have watched Sydni grow up over the years. Sydni, we are all very proud of you!
As you look through today’s photos, be reminded of what these symbols, these traditions, stand for. We hold these symbols and traditions close to our hearts because they allow us to reflect up on and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This celebration of Police week allows for memories to be shared, bringing some comfort to the families of those who have fallen. This celebration moves us to once again pledge to Never Forget.