VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Honors Fallen Officers and Families at Law Enforcement Memorial Service

May 14, 2017
Press Release

Honolulu, HI—This evening in Downtown Honolulu, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) attended the Hawaiʻi Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation’s service to remember Hawaii’s sixty-five officers who died in the line of duty. In her remarks, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard honored current, former, and fallen law enforcement officers, and paid special tribute to their families. A transcript of her remarks is below, and video is available here for download.

“This memorial here and this opportunity we have today reminds us of the thin blue line—that symbol which represents the important relationship between law enforcement and our community as the protectors of fellow civilians from those who seek to harm them,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in her remarks this evening. “It symbolizes that great trust and responsibility that exists within those who carry the badge.  It reminds us of those who are called to put their lives on the line to serve and protect and those who have sacrificed all.”

All of Hawaii’s police chiefs were in attendance, as well as Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and Acting United States Attorney Elliot Enoki. The Hawaiʻi Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation was formed in February 2010 to design, construct, and maintain a monument to honor law enforcement officers from city, county, state, military, and federal agencies who have died in the line of duty while serving the people of Hawaiʻi.

The photos below are available here for download.

Hawaiʻi Law Enforcement Memorial Service
Remarks by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
May 14, 2017

Aloha. I am honored to be here with you all on this very important evening.

I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to the officers here today, those who are not with us, those who are still serving and those who have paid the ultimate price.  I also want to pay tribute to your families—without whose support and love, your service would not be possible.  

My younger sister is a law enforcement officer.  She is a Deputy US Marshal, works out of Washington, DC right now, and for the last seven years, has participated in the Police Unity Tour, which is a bicycle ride that begins in New Jersey and ends in Washington, DC. It goes over four days, and thousands of law enforcement officers from all across the country participate to raise awareness for those who have died in the line of duty in the previous year.  It raises money for memorials like this across the country and for the families of the officers who have fallen.  I had the opportunity last year to attend the 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil in Washington, DC at the National Mall.  We joined the family of Hawaii’s own Captain Neville Colburn.

One of the things that was so striking about that vigil were the thousands of people—the candles stretched as far as the eye could see down the National Mall—people from all parts of the country, people representing every age, race, ethnicity, religion, and creed, representing the diversity that exists within our communities and our country.  Each were holding a candle, each remembering the service and sacrifice of a loved one, a friend, a colleague, but all standing together in unity.  Recognizing and feeling in that moment that even in the darkest and most difficult of times that we’re all connected and that we’re all in this together.   

This memorial here and this opportunity we have today reminds us of the thin blue line—that symbol which represents the important relationship between law enforcement and our community as the protectors of fellow civilians from those who seek to harm them.  It symbolizes that great trust and responsibility that exists within those who carry the badge.  It reminds us of those who are called to put their lives on the line to serve and protect and those who have sacrificed all. 

As I was thinking of this day and coming to join you, my thought was, how can we best honor them?  We can remember them today as we are.  But I think the best way we can honor them is through our own lives.  And the way that we choose to live our lives.  Whether in law enforcement, in politics, in government, or in the private sector, or any field—we have the opportunity to do our very best every day, to be of service to others, to live not for ourselves, but to make that positive impact on those around us.  To look around our community, to look around our home, and see how can I be part of the solution.    

We miss them—our friends, our family members, colleagues.  They will always remain with us in our hearts, in our memories, and in the legacy they’ve left behind.  Let us honor them through our gratitude, not wasting a moment.  Remembering that for any one of us, we don’t know when our time will come.  So let’s make the most of it by honoring our fallen heroes today and every day of our lives by trying to live a life of service.

Thank you for your service.  Mahalo.

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