Uniformed personnel stood at attention yesterday as agents and officers escorted the families and loved ones of each of CBP’s fallen heroes being honored this year at the CBP Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony in the Woodrow Wilson Plaza outside CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C.
CBP honored nine employees lost in the line of duty – six in 2022 and three others lost in previous years – and added their names to the Valor Memorial, which was unveiled at the ceremony. The ceremony is held annually during National Police Week and also honors the 360 agents and officers of CBP and its legacy agencies who died in previous years while protecting the U.S. and its citizens.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller addressed both those in attendance and others watching virtually.
“Today, we add nine names to CBP’s Valor Memorial. Nine sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, colleagues, neighbors, and friends,” Miller said. “Their lives enriched us. Their losses devastate us. Their sacrifices humble us. And now, their memories must live on – through us.”
Mayorkas acknowledged the difficult role of law enforcement professionals.
“Rare is the individual who confronts danger to help others, so that others can be safe and secure,” he said. “That, however, defines every CBP agent and officer we honor today. To sacrifice means to give up something valued and to do so for the sake of something else that is regarded as more important or worthy. Our fallen heroes sacrificed themselves for our country. Our country stands because of them.”
The ceremony included a presentation of colors by CBP’s Honor Guard, a ceremonial march led by CBP’s Pipes and Drums Corps, the folding of the flag and the wreath laying. Mayorkas, Miller and CBP’s senior leadership placed single white roses on the wreath in remembrance of the fallen, and observed a moment of silence for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
CBP honored the following nine employees lost in the line of duty.
|CBP Officer Kenneth MacCallum||CBP Officer Trainee Cody A. Olafson|
|CBP Officer Jeffrey P. Dela Cruz||CBP Officer Jorge A. Arias|
|CBP Officer Brian L. Vogel||Marine Interdiction Agent Michel O. Maceda|
|CBP Officer Bruce R. Eckhoff||Border Patrol Agent Raul H. Gonzalez Jr.|
|Border Patrol Agent Daniel H. Salazar|
The loss of these agents and officers is felt by the entire CBP family. MacCallum inspired his three sons to choose border security as their calling – one son is a CBP officer and two are Border Patrol agents. Dela Cruz had a passion for motorcycles and mentored other K-9 officers and Explorers. Vogel honorably retired from the Michigan Army National Guard after 20 years. Eckhoff played Division One college football and professional football in the Australian Football league. Salazar liked skateboarding, swimming and volunteered to teach foster children to surf. Olafson was known for his enthusiasm and honesty and had the makings to become an outstanding CBP officer. Arias loved playing video games and collecting action figures. Maceda enjoyed fishing, tinkering with his cars and boats, and listening to salsa music while making dinner for his family. Gonzalez found immense joy in his children and loved traveling to different places.
“This year, more than ever, the Valor Memorial Ceremony represents the tremendous sacrifices that the men and women of CBP make every single day,” Miller said. “This solemn ceremony reflects our acknowledgement that our law enforcement professionals place their lives at risk on and off duty – every day, every shift, and in every environment, land, air and sea. Never more so than in today’s challenging operational environment.”