CopShock: Second Edition
Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

by Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR

 Healing Opportunities

For many sufferers of PTSD, visiting memorials helps heal psychic wounds. A study on Vietnam veterans who visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC, and participated in Memorial Day programs is inconclusive. In some veterans, PTSD symptoms diminished while in others they increased.

Many police officers and their families who have participated in Police Week and have visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in the U.S. capital say the experience was beneficial. As well as having an opportunity to express feelings, officers were able to renew friendships and receive comfort and support from family, friends and fellow officers.

American Police Hall of Fame and Museum (APHF)
The APHF contains a memorial listing of officers killed on duty, exhibits, and crime prevention information. Before Police Week, the administrators of the facility contact the leaders of the U.S. law enforcement community to remind them of the price many officers have paid.
   Go to: Write or visit: APHF, 6350 Horizon Drive, Titusville, FL 32780. Phone: 321-264-0911.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Every fifty-three hours an officer is killed. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, honors all of America’s federal, state and local law enforcers killed in-the-line-of-duty. It also offers an opportunity for officers and their families to grieve for friends and loved ones.

   Inscribed on the Memorial’s marble walls are the names of more than 18,000 officers, dating back to the first known death in 1792.

   To preview the Memorial online or to search the database for friends or loved ones, go to: 
and click on OfficerInformation/Search. Phone: 202-737-3400.

   Two blocks away from the Memorial is a Visitors’ Center and Gift Shop at 605 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004. Phone: 866-569-4928. You can view items in the Gift Shop at

Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week
In mid-May, law enforcement officers commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day. Remembrance ceremonies are held and police officers across the nation wear black mourning bands on their shields or stars to honor fallen officers. During National Police Week, which begins before Memorial Day and continues after it, thousands gather at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial for a candlelight vigil.

   For information on how officers, their families and the community can participate in Police Week or to see a calendar of the week’s activities, go to:
Call: 202-737-3400.

Vietnam Veterans Memorials
In many U.S. states and in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Vietnam there are memorials to those who died in the Vietnam War. As well as visiting the Police Memorial, officers who are veterans may also wish to visit “The Wall” and similar memorials.

   On the website, the Remembrance Page provides stories, poems, songs, art—anything that honors the dead and comforts the living. The site also connects to memorials around the world, including the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Wash-ington, DC.
   Go to:

See also: Veterans of War
For more on Vietnam, World War II, Korean, Gulf War veterans.