United States Capitol Police Heroes Remembered
Statement of Chief Matthew R. Verderosa at United States Capitol Police Memorial Service
May 6, 2019
Police officers are society’s protectors. They respond to people in need, to those who cannot protect themselves, and they run toward danger, not away from it.
For those who made the ultimate sacrifice, the depth of their dedication lives in those who love them, who respect them, who honor them, and who remember them.
Today, we are honor Sgt. Christopher S. Eney, Officer Jacob J. Chestnut, Detective John M. Gibson, and Sgt. Clinton J. Holtz.
Some might question why we dedicate memorials, annually honor and remember their deaths with elaborate services. The answer is very simple. If someone is willing to attack a police officer, the symbol of our nation’s domestic protectors, then that individual would not hesitate to attack the vulnerable people police officers swear an oath to protect and serve.
The price of our freedom is high. It is a special calling to become one of our nation’s finest. While there are several interpretations of this Bible verse, I believe a police officer’s ultimate sacrifice may be summed up this way: There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
We gather today to honor the lives of the police officers who served with distinction as United States Capitol Police officers; and who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.
While the pain we feel is difficult to bear and is long to fade, it reminds us of what made these men heroes...how they lived their lives…as is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
The connection that we’ve made with the families of those we lost is deep and permanent. They will always be a part of our Capitol Police family. The men we honor were brave individuals who embodied what is right about law enforcement; what is true about the U.S. Capitol Police, and what is noble about our mission.