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Editorial: A reminder to thank those who protect us

Daniel Oliveri, right, son of deceased Nassau County

Daniel Oliveri, right, son of deceased Nassau County Police officer Joseph P. Olivieri Jr. comforts his girlfriend Ali Mashburn, during the State of New York Police Officers' Memorial Remembrance Ceremony in Albany, N.Y. Officer Olivieri was struck and killed by an SUV while he investigated a motorcycle accident on the Long Island Expressway October 18th. (May 8, 2013) Credit: Albany Times Union

Since President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962, police and other law-enforcement agencies have used the month to honor members killed in the line of duty.

On May 4, the names of Nassau Officers Joseph Olivieri and Arthur Lopez were added to a memorial in Hicksville, and then on Wednesday to a state marker in Albany. Olivieri was hit by an SUV on Oct. 18 while responding to a Long Island Expressway accident. Five days later, Lopez was shot by an ex-convict near the Nassau-Queens border. The name of a third Nassau officer, Charles D. Cole Jr., was also added to the Albany wall after he died in 2011 of a cancer attributed to working at Ground Zero.

The tributes go on. This week their names will be engraved into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington.

The pain and gratitude these memorials inspire should remind us -- and not just one month a year -- to remember and thank those who protect us.