President Donald Trump memorialized fallen law enforcement officials, promising to support and back their mission to keep America safe.
“As long as I’m president, you will always find an open door at the White House,” Trump said during a speech at the Capitol during the annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Monday.
The speech was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Gen. John Kelly, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“America stands strong with our men and women in blue,” Trump said. “Believe me, we stand strong together.”
Earlier in the day, Trump signed an order and promised to light the White House blue on Monday night to recognize slain law enforcement officials.
“Please know that you do not grieve alone,” he said to families suffering the loss of a loved one.
According to the White House, 118 officers killed in the line of duty in the United States last year, including 66 in malicious attacks — a 40 percent increase from 2015.
“Every drop of blood spilled from our heroes in blue is a wound inflicted upon the whole country, and every heartache known by your families in law enforcement is a sorrow shared by the entire family of the American nation,” Trump said.
The president also spoke directly to children of fallen law enforcement officials, throwing a hat to Micah Glasser the six year old son of slain Phoenix police officer David Glasser.
“To every child in America who has lost a mom or a dad in the line of duty, I want you to know, your parents are American heroes. They died keeping us safe. They are the pride of our nation and we will hold them in our hearts always and forever,” he said.
The president also singled out several names of law enforcement officials who perished as a result of anti-police attacks in 2016.
“The attacks on our police must end and they must end right now,” he said as the crowd applauded.
Trump criticized the rise of anti-police rhetoric, blaming it for creating a climate that contributed to violence against law enforcement officers.
“We must also end the reckless words of incitement that give rise to danger and give rise to violence,” he said. “It time to work with our cops, not against them.”
Vice President Mike Pence also made remarks at the ceremony, reminding that the Trump administration would have their backs.
“President Trump stands with the men and women of law enforcement without apology, and he always will,” Pence said.
Trump promised to fund, train, and equip law enforcement agencies around the country as part of his promise to keep America safe. He also urged all Americans to renew their respect towards law officials around the country.
“To all Americans watching this event today, next time you see a cop on the beat, take a moment to say two wonderful words which they so readily deserve. ‘Thank you,’” he said.