Police Memorial Service Remembers Fallen Officers

Xavier Trudeau
Mai 18, 2017

The objective is to pay tribute to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives while serving in the line of duty. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 20,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout US history, dating back to the first known death in 1791.

"It's very emotional", said Peggy Phillippi, widow of Virginia State Police Sgt. James Michael Phillippi, after the ceremony.

Here in CT, I see firsthand how the men and women of law enforcement fulfill their sworn duty to uphold justice. Among the fallen heroes were three from Georgia this year and eight last year, fourth highest in the nation.

Along with Santa Maria Police and Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, peace officers from the California Highway Patrol, Guadalupe Police and Lompoc Police departments joined in the ceremony. "I say thank you to all of them", she said. "But you have to have respect for what he does".

The members of BPD who lost their lives are: T.J. Packard, who died April 20, 1903; Frank Sparks, who died June 16, 1917; Aaron Trent, who died August 22, 1917; Floyd B.D.W. Cummings, who died January 7, 1952; William Rucker, who died July 20, 1952; Patrick Vegas, who died June 20, 1980; William Sikola, who died July 17, 1983; and David Nelson, who died June 26, 2015.

The included Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann, Bryan Officer Mark Hiatt and Burleson County Sheriff's Sgt. Adam Sowders. Just before he retired, his wife was shot and killed near their home.

IACLEA President Randy Burba and other officials salute fallen officers. Frame was shot March 18, 1923 by a suspected moonshiner and Johnston was killed January 27, 1945 in a auto wreck. When we lose an officer, the community is affected, the department is affected.

The names of the four officers killed were added to the memorial near City Hall.

The ceremony began with a prayer by Chaplain Mark Parkinson, in which he raised questions about death, life and lives ended way too soon.

Dallas Police officer Demarcus Black sheds tears as the names of fallen peace officers are read during a memorial service in downtown Dallas, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. I hope that during this National Police Week and throughout the year, we will reflect on Allen Brandt's final words: 'Law enforcement needs our support and not just when bad things happen.' In these times, law enforcement needs that support now more than ever. Welsh says Heinle is the most recent loss that the Missoula Police Department has suffered. These men and women who embody lives of integrity and honor are your friends, neighbors and family.

A county-wide memorial will be held at noon Thursday at the Peace Officers' Memorial on Truxtun.

On average, in the United States, one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty every 57 hours. So far this year, 44 officers have died in the line of duty nationwide. Bishop Joe Gravely gave the closing prayer.

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