Videos & Speeches
Mr. President, earlier today I attended a memorial service to honor our Nation's law enforcement officers who laid down their lives to protect their fellow citizens. Since 1962, May 15 has stood as a day of remembrance for the many fallen police officers who faithfully served our communities and our Nation. They must never be forgotten.
This year 362 names were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, and among those names were three brave officers from Kansas. Two of these men died in the line of duty many years ago, but we paused today to remember their sacrifice.
In 1892 Andrew Balfour of Kiowa County was fulfilling his duties as a local sheriff and pursuing a man who was wanted for theft when he was mortally wounded. Andrew passed away at the young age of 41, leaving behind a wife and six children.
In 1922, William Bloomfield, a deputy sheriff, serving in Bourbon County was arresting a well-known criminal when he was killed during a fierce gun battle.
These two men honorably served by faithfully carrying out their duties. Rather than shirk from danger, police officers pledge to face danger with courage, and that is exactly what these two men did.
Just 5 months ago, Kansans were grieved by the loss of another officer, SGT David Enzbrenner of Atchison, KS. On December 9, 2011, David joined a fellow officer on a routine call to see a local resident. As they were turning to leave the front step of the home, a person suddenly appeared and opened fire on David without warning. This act of violence was unprovoked and forever robbed the Enzbrenner family of their father, and husband, and the Atchison community of a loyal public servant.
When we lose someone in a community in Kansas, it is not just a name to us. It is somebody we go to church with, it is somebody we see at our kids' activities at school, somebody we know and care for. That is how Atchison felt about David.
In remembering David, Atchison Mayor Allen Reavis said this:
He was No. 1 father, No. 1 husband, No. 1 partner to his fellow officers, No. 1 son.
Inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Memorial here in Washington are these words:
It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.
Police Chief Mike Wilson served alongside David for 24 years and said this about his former colleague and friend those words speak directly to David, those words on the National Law Enforcement Memorial, those words speak directly to David. How true about our brother.
David was dedicated to his family, his fellow law enforcement officers, and his community. He was well known in Atchison and well loved. David attended high school there and served in the Atchison Police Department for 24 years. David was also on the board of trustees at his local church and found great joy in teaching and coaching his daughters on their softball teams.
Last December I witnessed the impact David had on the local community when I attended his memorial service and more than 2,000 people gathered to pay their respects to him. During the service, many moving tributes were read about David and how he lived his life. One that stood out from among the others was a statement from David's wife Kerri. She said this about her husband:
David was a man of few words. He always tried to keep a simple life. And when I questioned things, he would remind me that it's okay sometimes not to understand.
We don't fully understand. We don't understand at all really why David's life was taken or why the lives of more than 19,000 officers we remembered today ended so soon. But we want to express our gratitude for their service and dedication to their communities and to our country.
During National Police Week, we also remember their families and the loved ones they left behind. May God comfort them in their time of grief and be a source of strength for them. May he also protect all those who continue to serve us today.
I want to especially mention David Enzbrenner's wife Kerri and his three teenage daughters Avery, Abbi, and Celia. I want them to know that we honor the way David lived his life and tell them that we love and care for them today and always.
I yield the floor Mr. President