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  4. Candlelight Vigil Shines Light on Fallen Law Enforcement

Candlelight Vigil Shines Light on Fallen Law Enforcement

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Ceremony on the National Mall was part of National Police Week activities

Candles light up the night
The 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13 paid tribute to the 619 officers nationwide killed in the line of duty whose names were added to the
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in the nation’s capital.
The candles of thousands of attendees lit up the National Mall in Washington for the 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, one of the most moving ceremonies for fallen law enforcement officers during National Police Week. The vigil paid tribute to the 619 officers killed in the line of duty across the nation whose names were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The names of 32 law enforcement officers were from U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the agency lost an additional five non-law enforcement members in 2021.

“They are individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “On this day of remembrance, we raise up that which we carry deep within us every day: Pride in mission, service to country, and faithfulness to the memory of the fallen who make our ongoing work possible.”

The secretary also paid tribute to the thousands of families, friends and colleagues left behind whose love and support made service possible for their fallen law enforcement officer.

“Please know you are heroes, too,” he said.

Secretary Mayorkas was joined by Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security John Tien for the reading of the names of the 32 CBP law enforcement members, plus other Homeland Security law enforcement members, who died in the line of duty in 2021. CBP added those 32 plus the five non-law enforcement personnel who died in the line of duty last year to its own Valor Memorial:

  • CBP Officer Trainee Wolf Valmond, CBP Field Operations Academy, Glynn County, Georgia;
  • CBP Agriculture Specialist Juan Ollervidez III, Hidalgo Port of Entry, Hidalgo, Texas;
  • Facility Operations Specialist Denis Jasper Wells, CBP Office of Facilities and Asset Management, Tucson, Arizona;
  • CBP Officer Andrew R. Bouchard, Houston Seaport Port of Entry, Houston;
  • CBP Officer Troy A. Adkins, El Paso Port of Entry, El Paso, Texas;
  • CBP Officer Byron Shields, Nogales Port of Entry, Nogales, Arizona;
  • Director of Field Operations Beverly Good, Baltimore;
  • Special Agent Robert Allan Mayer Jr., Office of Professional Responsibility, Resident Agent in Charge Office, Del Rio, Texas;
  • Maintenance Mechanic Rudy Morales Jr., Office of Facilities and Asset Management, El Paso, Texas;
  • CBP Officer Cesar Sibonga, Kenneth G. Ward Port of Entry, Lynden, Washington;
  • CBP Officer Genaro Guerrero, San Ysidro Port of Entry, San Ysidro, California;
  • CBP Officer Carlos C. Mendoza, Hidalgo Port of Entry, Hidalgo, Texas;
  • CBP Officer Crispin San Jose, San Ysidro Port of Entry, San Ysidro, California;
  • Border Patrol Agent Alejandro Flores-Bañuelos, Indio Station, Indio, California;
  • Border Patrol Agent Christopher Shane Simpkins, Lake Charles Station, Lake Charles, Louisiana;
  • Border Patrol Agent Freddie Vasquez, El Paso Station, El Paso, Texas;
  • Border Patrol Agent Juan M. Urrutia, Brownsville Station, Olmito, Texas;
  • CBP Officer Ruben Facio, New Orleans Port of Entry, New Orleans;
  • Border Patrol Agent Edgardo Acosta-Feliciano, Deming Station, Deming, New Mexico;
  • Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Daniel P. Cox, Special Operations Detachment, Tucson, Arizona;
  • Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate, McAllen Station, McAllen, Texas;
  • CBP Officer Yokemia L. Conyers, Miami International Airport Port of Entry, Miami;
  • CBP Officer Monica J. Riola, Los Angeles International Airport Port of Entry, Los Angeles;
  • CBP Officer Erik J. Skelton, Miami International Airport Port of Entry, Miami;
  • Border Patrol Agent Chad E. McBroom, Special Operations Detachment, Tucson Sector, Tucson, Arizona;
  • CBP Technician Francisco V. Tomas, Miami International Airport Port of Entry, Miami;
  • CBP Officer David B. Saavedra, Miami International Airport Port of Entry, Miami;
  • Border Patrol Agent Luis H. Dominguez, Wellton Station, Yuma, Arizona;
  • Border Patrol Agent David B. Ramirez, Sector Intelligence Unit, San Diego Sector, San Diego;
  • Border Patrol Agent Alfredo M. Ibarra, Blythe Station, Blythe, California;
  • CBP Officer Victor Donate, Atlanta Port of Entry, Atlanta;
  • Enforcement Analysis Specialist David H. Gray, Houlton Sector Intelligence Unit, Hodgdon, Maine;
  • Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Rafael G. Sanchez, Hebbronville Station, Hebbronville, Texas;
  • Port Director Mathew L. Lyons, Whitlash Port of Entry, Whitlash, Montana;
  • Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Anibal “Tony” Perez, Ajo Station, Why, Arizona;
  • Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Martin Barrios, Brian A. Terry Station, Bisbee, Arizona;
  • Border Patrol Agent Salvador Martinez Jr., El Paso Station, El Paso, Texas

Lori Sharpe Day, the board chair for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, said while the event honored those who have fallen in the line of duty – as well as those families, friends and colleagues left behind – those who are still living and serving need to be honored and thanked every day as well.

“We cannot wait until a tragic fate cuts a life too short when they were out trying to protect our communities to say, ‘Thank you,’ and to show our gratitude,” she said. “We cannot wait until a tragic fate turns a law enforcement family into a family of survivors to recognize all the sacrifices they make so their loved ones can serve and protect us.”

After the reading of all 619 names, the crowd held aloft candles lit from one flame which originated on the stage and was passed – person to person – until thousands flickered against the darkness. In that same spirit of unity that made those thousands of candles alight from one, Secretary Mayorkas encouraged the crowd – and the nation – to find unity in support of all law enforcement.

“The greatest tribute we pay to them is how we carry forward in executing our mission,” he said. “All of you in law enforcement do that every single day. As we work in the service of communities across this great country, we honor our fallen heroes and the selfless sacrifice they made to serve and protect.”

 

 

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Last Modified: June 2, 2022