Metropolia Coat of Arms - God is With Us!
Archeparchy of Cleveland & the United States



Archpastoral Proclamation for
National Peace Officers' Memorial Day

May 15, 2003 - Protocol No. 5403

Whereas, The Congress and President of the United States have designated May 15 as Peace Officers' Memorial Day, and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week; and

Whereas, the members of the law enforcement agencies of our various localities play an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of our clergy, religious and faithful in those local communities; and

Whereas, today more than ever, with the on-going threat of global and national crime and terrorism, we rely on the heroic sacrifices and efforts of our local law enforcement agencies to protect our right to a life lived without fear and in freedom, peace and justice, God-given ideals which are emphasized throughout Sacred Scripture; and

Whereas, our pioneering clergy, religious and faithful left their ancestral homelands and began new lives in this great nation of opportunity and liberty, to escape persecution and the violation of their basic human rights, especially freedom of religion and personal expression that was ongoing under the tyrannical regimes that once ruled Ukraine and other nations from which our people emigrated and for which they suffered unspeakable atrocities; and

Whereas, up until the present day, our people continue to come to the United States of America, to build new lives based on these same principles of liberty, freedom and justice; and since first coming to these shores, our people have always displayed a strong sense of both cultural pride in their treasured heritage and national patriotism towards their new homeland, this God-given nation where we are free to express the beauty of our ethnic culture and religious faith; and

Whereas, it is important that all of our faithful know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards, and sacrifices of their law enforcement agencies, and that members of these same law enforcement agencies recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, guaranteeing the basic rights to freedom of speech and religious expression, by protecting them against violence, prejudice and disorder, and by safeguarding the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression; and

Whereas, the men and women of the law enforcement agencies of our great nation unceasingly provide a vital public service;

Now, therefore, I, +MICHAEL JAVCHAK CHAMPION, Archbishop of Cleveland and Eparch of the United States of America, of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - Sobornopravna, call upon all clergy and parishioners of the Metropolitan Archeparchy of Cleveland and the United States, and upon all of our religious, patriotic, cultural and educational organizations to observe Sunday May, 18, 2003, as

"National & Eparchial Peace Officers' Honor & Remembrance Day"

with appropriate ceremonies and observances in which all of our people may join, in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who, by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities, have rendered a dedicated service to their communities and, in so doing, have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the freedom, rights and security of all citizens, including the faithful of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - Sobornopravna.

On that day, Sunday, May 18, special petitions provided by our liturgical committee are to be inserted into the ektenias of the Divine Liturgy, to pray for the intentions of the many men and women who have devoted their lives to our personal protection and the preservation of our God-given rights and freedoms.

I further direct that on Sunday, May 18, 2003, in observance of National Peace Officers' Memorial Day, a "Panakhyda" - Memorial Service be celebrated at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy in each parish of our Eparchy, for the repose of the souls of those law enforcement officers in our communities who, through their courageous deeds, have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community, giving their lives in the line of duty, while working for the purpose of our wellbeing and safety. While doing so, let us also remember those who have become disabled in the performance of duty, and let us recognize and pay respect to the survivors of our fallen heroes.

In witness thereof, I affix my signature and the Seal of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church - Sobornopravna, Archeparchy of Cleveland & the United States. Metropolia Coat of Arms - God is With Us!

+Metropolitan Michael
The Most Rev. Michael J. Champion, DD., MA Th.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Cleveland
Eparch of the Americas
Coadjutor to the Primate

National Peace Officers' Memorial Day
Brief Historical Sketch

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 designating May 15 as Peace Officers' Memorial Day, and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. The law was amended by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322, signed by President Bill Clinton, directing that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff on all government buildings on May 15 each year. While the actual dates change from year to year, National Police Week is always the calendar week, beginning on Sunday, which includes May 15.

Back to Top of Page.


Special Petitions for the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, May 18, 2003

The following petitions are to be inserted into the "Suhubaja" - the "Fervent Ektenia" which follows the reading of the Gospel. They begin after the petition, "We also pray for our civil authorities . . . "

We also pray to You, Lord God to hear the voice of us sinners who prostrate ourselves before Your all-encompassing goodness and grant divine protection and Your most merciful love to all of our peace officers, as they continue to work for our well-being, freedom and safety, we pray You, all merciful Lord, hear us and have mercy.

Lord, have mercy (three times).

We give thanks to you, O Lord for the gifts of liberty, freedom, justice and peace which we are blessed to know and cherish in this great land, and we beseech your all encompassing goodness for the salvation of our nation's peace officers who give of themselves daily to dispel violence, crime and terror from our communities. Let them come to know daily, your love and mercy, that being every guarded by your might, they may increasingly love, serve and honor You, we pray You all loving Lord, hear us and have mercy.

Lord, have mercy (three times).

We also pray for an increase in love and human kindness in all citizens in every city and countryside of our land, that following the example of You, Lord and the words of your Gospel, we each may come to a knowledge of that lasting peace which is from You alone, and the preservation of which our nation's peace officers labor and sacrifice daily, we pray You most gracious Lord, hear us and have mercy.

Lord, have mercy (three times).

We also pray for the repose of the souls of God's departed servants, all of our nations peace officers' who have given their lives in the line of duty, always mindful of their obligation to protect all people on their watch. Grant them eternal memory in the hearts and minds of those they served and peaceful repose with the Saints who love you, and may their sacrifice bear fruit in everlasting peace and tranquility, so that we may lead calm and quiet lives in all piety and integrity, we beseech you, all-merciful Lord, hear us and have mercy.

Lord, have mercy (three times).

Then follows the final petition, "We also pray for the people here present . . . "

Special Prayer for our Peace Officers
(May be recited after the Amvon Prayer)

Almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe, watch over our peace officers and law enforcement personnel everywhere. Protect them from harm in the performance of their duty to stop crime, robbery, riots and violence. We pray, help them keep our streets and homes safe, day and night. We commend them to your loving care because their duty is dangerous. Grant them strength and courage in their daily assignments. Dear God, protect these brave men and women. Grant them your almighty protection and unite them safely with their families after duty has ended. That being ever protected by your power, we may all render glory to you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen

Back to Top of Page.


Some Related Links:

Greater Cleveland Peace Officers' Memorial Society.

National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Fund.

National Police Week Official Site.

Fraternal Order of Police.

New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc.


UAOC Site Navigation

Back to Main Page.

Ukrainian Page.