The Santa Monica police and fire departments are inviting residents to participate in a memorial ceremony to honor the fallen police officers and firefighters.

The annual event will be held on May 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Memorial Plaza of the Public Safety Facility located at 333 Olympic Drive.

“City Hall’s flag will be flying at half-staff from sunrise to noon in remembrance of the nine police officers and six firefighters who have over the history of both organizations, given their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the citizens of Santa Monica,” said Sgt. Rudy Camarena.

Camarena said the ceremony will include the color guard from both departments presenting flags, a welcome, a reading of names and an invocation.

“They ring the bell, that’s a tradition from the fire department,” he said. “There will be a benediction from one of the chaplains, a moment of silence, some taps, and then we’ll dismiss.”

Congress established National Police Week in 1962 following then-President Kennedy’s proclamation of May 15 and National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Public safety agencies have traditionally held memorial services in early may as part of the national recognition.

The Santa Monica event will be held next to the memorial plaque that lists the names of each officer and firefighter along with their dates of service. Camarena said officers, family members and the public will be invited to gather in the lobby of the public service building after the ceremony.

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