“Today, is Peace Officers Memorial Day, when we honor the men and women of law enforcement. During Police Week, thousands of officers from across the nation -- and the world -- travel here to Washington to remember their fallen comrades and rededicate themselves to protecting our communities.
“I welcome them, particularly the peace officers from my state of Kentucky. I look forward to visiting later today with members of the Louisville Metro Police Department. We owe them, and departments across the Commonwealth, our heartfelt thanks for keeping the Bluegrass State safe and secure.
“I also wish to pay tribute today to members of Kentucky’s law enforcement community who gave their ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. Since Police Week last year, three of the Commonwealth’s finest have fallen in the line of duty.
“Officer Scotty Hamilton, a twelve-year veteran of the Pikeville Police Department was fatally shot while on duty. The Hopkinsville Police Department lost Officer Phillip Meacham who was killed while off-duty, by someone impersonating a police officer. And Officer Rodney Smith of the Hickman Police Department drowned while on patrol when his vehicle was washed into the water during this spring’s severe flooding. Each of these men left behind spouses, children, and a Commonwealth indebted to them for their service.
“We also remember Sergeant David Ray Gibbs of the Kentucky State Police, who was killed in a car crash in 2015 on the way to his grandmother’s funeral. Sergeant Gibbs’s name was added this year to the National Police Memorial -- a fitting tribute to a fine officer. His sacrifice, and those of each of these heroes, won’t be forgotten.
“Finally, as we warmly welcome law enforcement from across the country, I’d also like to especially thank the men and women of the United States Capitol Police. Each day, their vigilance protects Members of Congress, our staff, and visitors from around the world. And after the terrible events at the baseball park in Alexandria last June, we are all reminded just how lucky we are to have them.”