In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week that it falls in as National Police Week. In coordination with this proclamation, Fort Smith National Historic Site will honor fallen officers on Saturday May 17th.Throughout the day, memorial markers will be on the parade grounds honoring each of the officers who lost their lives in the line of duty between 1872 and 1896 while serving the Fort Smith District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.
From 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. living history programs will interpret the dangers faced by Deputy U.S. Marshals in the Indian Territory who would have worked out of Fort Smith. This will include a deputy's camp, Volunteers portraying Judge Parker and his wife set up in the courtroom, programs on the death of law officer Frank Dalton, and the life and times of the famous African American Deputy Bass Reeves.
At 11:00 a.m. a ceremony honoring fallen officers will commence with a welcome from Park Superintendent Lisa Frost, a flag ceremony led by Sebastian County Sheriff's Honor Guard, a statement from U.S. Marshal Harold Oglesby, and a roll call of the officers who died serving the Fort Smith District Court in the 1800s. Bagpipe music will also be played by Park Ranger Jeremy Lynch. This year the park is happy to welcome the Fort Smith Police Department Honor Guard. They will present a 21-gun salute.