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2019 Candlelight Vigil Ceremony Remembers Fallen Heroes

Release Date: 
May 15, 2019

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost and Deputy Chief Scott Luck watch as the names of 371 fallen law enforcement officers are read during the 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., May 13. Photo by Glenn Fawcett
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost
and Deputy Chief Scott Luck watch as
the names of 371 fallen law enforcement
officers are read during the 31st Annual
Candlelight Vigil held on the National
Mall in Washington, D.C., May 13.
Photo by Glenn Fawcett

On an unseasonably cool evening in the nation’s capital, a profound stillness and calm presided over the National Mall. CBP law enforcement personnel joined with thousands of their law enforcement colleagues, family members and their most loyal supporters. They gathered together to remember their fallen brothers and sisters at a solemn ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The 31th Annual Candlelight Vigil, held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on May 13, honored 371 officers who died in the line of duty in 2018. Their names were added to the memorial wall. Among the names, this year's ceremony honored the life and sacrifice of CBP Intelligence Collection Operations Manager Christopher T. Bacon ­­­-- end of watch June 7, 2018.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan spoke at the vigil and emphasized the sacrifice made by the men and women being honored.

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan delivers remarks during the 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil. Photo by Glenn Fawcett
Department of Homeland Security Acting
Secretary Kevin McAleenan delivers
remarks during the 31st Annual
Candlelight Vigil. Photo by Glenn Fawcett

“This is one of the most solemn, important and inspirational annual observances honoring our law enforcement heroes. Tonight we honor and remember those that have lost their lives in the line of duty. We pay homage to their courage and their bravery. We remember their service and their example, and we seek to comfort and console their family and friends that they have left behind. We set this night aside, no matter our duties and responsibilities, and we make this pilgrimage to respect their memories and to express our humble gratitude for their sacrifice.”

Acting Secretary McAleenan remembered the heroes of 9/11 and the men and women who sacrificed their lives on that day.

“The agency that I’m honored to lead, the Department of Homeland Security, was created as the result of the deadliest day in law enforcement history. The end of watch came on September 11, 2001, for 72 officers – now names on the walls of the memorial – who died while responding to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City. Tonight we read the names of 371 officers being added to the memorial. This year, nine of them are from the Department of Homeland Security.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner John Sanders reads the name of CBP Office of Intelligence employee Christopher T. Bacon, a former U.S. Border Patrol and AMO agent who died in the line of duty last year, during the 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil. Photo by Glenn Fawcett
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Acting Commissioner John Sanders reads
the name of CBP Office of Intelligence
employee Christopher T. Bacon, a former
U.S. Border Patrol and AMO agent who
died in the line of duty last year, during
the 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil. Photo
by Glenn Fawcett

The Candlelight Vigil culminated in the reading of the names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall this year. The names were read state-by-state by federal, state and local officials, including Acting Secretary McAleenan, Attorney General William Barr and CBP Acting Commissioner John Sanders.

During the reading, the crowd lit their candles and held them aloft in a moving tribute to their fallen family members, friends and colleagues.

Acting Secretary McAleenan spoke directly to family and friends of the fallen and told them their sacrifices will not be forgotten either.

“We know that to you, the families and survivors, that they were not just officers, but husbands, wives, partners, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, colleagues and friends. They were the best of us. Behind every name engraved on the memorial wall are the officers loved ones, whose watch has not ended and whose grief endures. They visit the memorial to pay their respects, to leave tokens of remembrance and they live with the memory of the sacrifice their loved ones made.”

Last modified: 
May 15, 2019