Across San Diego County today you will see law enforcement officers and other first responders proudly wearing Red, White and Blue bands across their badges in recognition of first responders, medical personnel, and countless other essential workers who continually summoning the courage to serve during this pandemic while putting their personal health, and the health of their families, at risk. Today, as a part of National Peace Officers Memorial Day, the bands serve to honor all those who have lost their lives and who have suffered permanent disabilities while defending their communities, including heroes lost to the coronavirus. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Historically, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. This year, they could not. But the pandemic doesn’t stop us from remembering. Although the annual memorial ceremony had to be cancelled, law enforcement leaders were still determined to do their part to honor our fallen officers, deputies and agents. On Wednesday, May 6, 2020 officers representing every local law enforcement agency took turns standing a silent watch over their brothers and sisters whose names are engraved on the wall of light at the Law Enforcement Memorial, located on the west side of the County Administration Center (1600 Pacific Highway). “These dedicated men and women from the San Diego County Regional Honor Guard came together as a group and paid tribute to those 86 men and women from the local, county, state, and federal agencies here in San Diego, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the communities that we all serve,” said Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy. Kennedy also serves as the President of the San Diego County Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association.
“Public safety professionals continue to stand tall,” Kennedy said, “Even in the middle of a global pandemic, and let everyone know that heroes live forever because we never forget their sacrifice.” Across the San Diego region first responders, medical personnel, and countless other essential workers are encouraged to wear the red, white, and blue America Strong and United badge bands and ribbons as a symbol of their daily sacrifice in this unprecedented time. The America Strong and United campaign recognizes essential workers serving tirelessly in their own communities and in communities across the country. The campaign is intended to inspire hope and unity whenever an essential worker is seen wearing the America Strong and United badge band or ribbon, as a way to recognize and thank those who are keeping our communities safe, united and functioning, and to honor and remember those we have already lost.
The America Strong and United badge bands and ribbons include three colors to symbolize the sacrifice of essential workers. Blue to represent police officers, healthcare professionals, park rangers and other safety and enforcement professionals. Red to represent firefighters, lifeguards, emergency medical personnel and others in the first responder life-safety fields. White to represent grocery and food service workers, social service providers and volunteers and other essential workers. Together, the red, white, and blue America Strong and United badge bands and ribbons represent all those who continue to serve their communities.
Essential workers in need of an America Strong and United badge band or ribbon can order from Tuff Products. Tuff products, a local Chula Vista company, helped create and design the patriotic badge band and will be selling them on their website. The owner, Natt Stevens is also willing to be interviewed about his desire to support this campaign. Patriotic ribbons can be purchased from the Chula Vista Police Foundation.