A congregation of more than 2,000 will gather this Sunday in Belfast to honour police officers who have died or been killed in the line of duty.
To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, a wreath will be laid to commemorate lives lost, including police officers called to service who lost their lives.
Now in its 15th year, this day of remembrance has Royal Patronage and brings together UK and overseas police forces and families.
The dangers officers face and the sacrifices they make in the course of their duties is sadly ever present and this Memorial Day was established to mark the loss of more than 4,400 officers since modern policing began.
The names of officers lost in the last 12 months will be read aloud during the service.
Officers being remembered will include Constable Steven Richard Jenkins, Gwent Police; Constable John Alcock, Grampian Police; Constable James Dixon, Thames Valley Police; and Constable David Fields, South Yorkshire Police.
The day will include:
- Candles being lit by relatives of fallen officers, signifying the lives lost in the police forces of the United Kingdom;
- For Northern Ireland, Joseph Ferguson and Susan Ferguson, brother and sister of Michael John Ferguson
- For Wales, Jayne Griffiths, wife of Constable Terence John Davies
- For Scotland, Callum Alcock, son of Constable John Alcock
- For England, Samantha Dixon, wife of Constable James Dixon
- A shower of petals, representing all who have lost their lives, will descend from the gallery. As well as the familiar blue and green petals, this year will also include red petals as we remember officers who died in the First World War
John Apter, Chair, Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The National Police Memorial Day is an important day in the policing calendar. It is a day to reflect and remember those colleagues we have lost.
“Year on year we gather to pay tribute to officers who have given their all and in their memory, the police family stands shoulder to shoulder with the loved ones left behind.
“The sacrifices of those we have lost will never be forgotten - it is right and proper to have this national day in their honour. It is a day that has grown to provide solace to many and whilst sad, it provides a fitting tribute to some of our finest.
“I am proud to have served with truly outstanding officers who are now no longer with us, and to have accompanied family members to National Police Memorial Day over the years, seeing first-hand what this day means to families.
“This Sunday is a day of reflection and I am privileged to be part of it.”National Police Chaplain, Canon David Wilbraham said: “Commitment, tenacity, bravery and integrity – all exercised with compassion and fairness – are the personal qualities that together with professional skills, sustain the thin blue line.
Frontline personnel also serve with a willingness, should the need arise, to put themselves in the place of danger and harm to protect and serve others. Sadly each year, some colleagues pay the ultimate price of that commitment.“I reflect when I conduct or attend funerals for those officers that in the minds of colleagues attending are two thoughts.
Firstly, respect for a fallen colleague and support for their loved ones; secondly, the inner acknowledgement ‘it could have been me’ for I know that each officer present would do that to protect the most humble and lowly of our citizens.
”A Guard of Honour with representatives from forces throughout the UK and overseas will welcome people on arrival.