National Police Week 2014, Washington, D.C.

Here you go as promised, I am sharing my experience from 2014 National Police Week in Washington, D.C.
First let me apologize for the delay, Mama Banks had to catch up on her posts! Now it's my turn. As I reflect on the trip I began to realize how hard it would be to put my experience on paper without writing an entire book. You see writing for me is like talking....I just keep going and going and going. So rather than bore you with my longwindedness (is that even a word?!?) I will share a lot of pictures and give you the highlighted-Cliffnotes version.
I strongly believe that every U.S. citizen should visit our nations capitol at least once in their life as an adult. I remember going as a child in the 1st grade, yes that was well over 20 years ago. And if you know me you know that I L-O-V-E, Washington, D.C. and almost everything that has to do with that beloved city. Now that I am in the early stages of my career as a Police Officer this trip was even more significant.
Being in my police departments Honor Guard Unit, we have been fortunate to have a chief who has committed to sending a group of us every year to represent our department and honor our fallen during this week. This year I was chosen to go.

If you don't know anything about National Police Week well take a quick stop here .

Well here you go....


Day 1 was a travel day and time to get prepared for the week. I got a chance to stop by the National Police Memorial, and made it just in time for the arrival of the Police Unity Tour. The Officers ride 300+ miles in 4 days arriving at the Memorial.

Day 2

Training with United States Army 3rd Infantry "The Old Guard" at Fort Meyer

Home of "The Old Guard"
Me with the team that travelled this year.

They put us to WORK!
They are UNLOADED....its a drill for precision.

 We trained with Charlie Company and they taught us with the same level of perfection that train daily.
One of our team members brother, a Major in the Air Force, is stationed at the Pentagon and we got a special tour from him. Now being that it is the Pentagon I have very little pictures.
This place is its own self contained city. They have their own police force, mall, restaurants, banks, doctors offices, pharmacy, etc. You name it they have it and there is no reason for you to leave the building.
We were told because of where we are going we are not to talk, take pictures, just listen and if you have questions you will be told when you can ask. The Pentagon is full of officers that run the United States Military so it is common to see Generals just walking around by themselves. One of the cool stories is that you know that you are on an important hall when it is decorated very ornately. While on one of these halls we were looking at all of the pictures and we were in an area were our tour guide was explaining the significance of this hall when this 4 Star General with an entourage of other ranking officers walks by then stops, tells his group to wait and approaches ours. He talks to us for a minute and shakes all of our hands. This man is General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, AKA the Worlds Most Powerful Person in Military Uniform. He took the time to say Hi and shake our hands. That says a lot about this man.
Below are the few pictures that I have and they are of the 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon. The Memorial Chapel was built in the location where the plane struck on 9-11-2001.

Later that Night was the Candle Light Vigil
There was a threat of severe weather that caused a 2 hour delay, however that did not stop the massive gathering at the National Police Memorial. Cops from all over the WORLD gathered to honor those lost.
Jammed Packed
"The Thin Blue Line"


Our candles were lit from one representing our unity.
Day 3
In the morning was free time so a few of us hit the National Mall.

Look who flew over! Well good morning to you too Mr. President.

Photography is not allowed here. This has to be one of the most moving museums I have ever seen. If you think the Holocaust was fake, walk through these doors. They even have survivors that you come and talk to visitors daily.

The Library of Congress!!!

I have a friend that has worked for Capitol PD for 27+ years and he hooked us up with a personal tour of the Capitol Building. Again due to sensitive areas we could not take pictures every where in the building. But we got to see some pretty amazing things. I even got to sit on the House floor. Pretty amazing.

The Center of the District of Columbia


Back Room to the Chamber of the House

Got to go inside, I thought they were going to confiscate my camera for this picture!

From the Speaker's Balcony

Sen. Cornyn's Office

Then we broke off and went separate ways. Some wanted to rest some wanted to go do other things. I on the other hand wanted to see more of this wonderful city. All of the public buildings started to close so I took off on the streets. I was drawn to the sound of bag pipes. I kept following the sound and ended up back at the National Police Memorial, it was the Annual Emerald Society & Pipe Band March and Service.

In between the bands were Retro Police Cars!!!! I felt like a kid at a candy store. 



And then this shows up?!? FD at a police parade? One of the members from the host band from Lake County Indiana collapsed at the Memorial. Two officers from different parts of the country did what we do best, react. Come to find out both are also EMT's. While they were performing CPR, someone brought an AED and they were able to save a fellow officer. During this time the crowd was silent and after they got a pulse the crowed erupted. Yet what another amazing experience.
Day 4
The National Police Officer's Memorial Service

Who is this???

 Oh it's just the Vice President of the United States of America

The Honor Guards from Texas got together for the reading of the fallen from our Great State.

There I am.

These were just the highlights. This week was amazing! I have made some wonderful memories, trained with the best Honor Guard Unit in the world, honored heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice, bonded with fellow officers, and experienced the camaraderie of the Thin Blue Line.

The Banks Papa



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