The statistics are grim: 191 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2007 and who were honored at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on May 15. From 42 states and three U.S. territories, 191 names were read aloud at the service while loved ones placed a flower in the memorial wreath provided by the Fraternal Order of Police and blue ribbons flew high. The number of officers killed in the line of duty in 2007 represents the most law enforcement deaths since 2001. Of those who served and died, 68 died from gunfire (a 31% increase over 2006), 83 in traffic fatalities. Among the other causes of death, 13 died of job-related illnesses, five were killed in terrorist attacks, four drowned, three died in aircraft accidents, three fell to their death, one died in a boating accident, and one was struck by a falling object. The youngest officer killed was only 19 years old, while the oldest was 76. Six female officers were killed – the highest number of officers killed in one state was in Texas, where they lost 25 of their officers. Seventeen officers serving with federal and military law enforcement agencies were killed in the line of duty in 2007, compared to five in 2006.
Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao stood in on behalf of President Bush to offer a keynote address in tribute to those fallen heroes: “It is a solemn privilege to be here today, on behalf of President George W. Bush and a grateful nation, to honor the fallen heroes of law enforcement. The president sends his special greetings to all of you today.