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Today law enforcement officers and their families throughout the state will gather at the Capitol to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice during the line of duty to protect us.  They will gather at the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial outside the North Wing entrance of the Capitol.
 
The first memorial program in Wisconsin started in 1991, however, President Kennedy in 1962 designated May 15th as Peace Officer’ Memorial Day.  On this day, the United States flag shall fly at half-staff to honor those who have fallen.   During this tribute, ceremonies throughout the nation are held.  Each year about 140 officers are lost in the line of duty. 
 
This year we honor Craig Birkholz of the Fond du Lac Police Department who was fatally shot while responding to the aid of another officer.  Also, we will remember Jamison Kampmeyger, a Marathon County Deputy and EMT for the Colby Fire Department who was fighting a fire when the roof collapsed.
 
We all understand the vital role that our law enforcement and emergency services personnel play in our local communities protecting the innocent.  They are the ones that protect our rights and freedoms as citizens of Wisconsin and the United States.  This important role in our community doesn’t come without its hazards.
 
It is important that we as citizens never forget or take for granted the service that these people perform.  They are our family and neighbors, and they protect our lives every day.  I would encourage you today to display a blue ribbon on your vehicle antenna as a sign of remembrance.
 
To learn more about Wisconsin’s Law Enforcement Memorial, or to view the list of the fallen, I encourage you to visit www.wlem.com/