Hundreds of Jacksonville Sheriff's Office police officers were in attendance for this annual observance, which honors the 60 men who have died in the line of duty since 1840 protecting the lives and property of the citizens of this community.
The public event was held on Bay Street, in front of the Police Memorial Building, recognizing the family, friends and colleagues of the fallen. Survivors and colleagues gather each year to memorialize the men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their community. Honored guests also include State Attorney Angela Corey; Public Defender Matt Shirk; members of the judiciary and city council; and heads of other criminal justice agencies such as ATF; FBI; FHP; and the FDLE.
In his comments Sheriff John Rutherford said, “Ours is a crusade to continually demonstrate that our work, every day, is an example of service above self. Through our service we are honoring those who sacrificed. There are few professions beyond our nation’s first responders and our service men and women where every day presents mortal danger. To the public we serve, we ask that you continue to respect and honor our dedication and service, and join with us in remembering the fallen, as we do here today.”
Mayor Alvin Brown also addressed the crowd and presented Sheriff Rutherford with the proclamation declaring Thursday, May 1, 2014 as “Jacksonville’s Police Memorial Day” and the week of declaring May 11-17 as “National Police Appreciation Week”.
Also, in attendance was Adam Resch, a Boy Scout who has dedicated his Eagle Scout project to building a public police memorial wall in Jacksonville. To learn more about the Fallen Officers Memorial please visit http://www.jax4cops.org
The 2014 Police Memorial Day service also included the Presentation of Colors, 21 Gun Salute and Flag Fold Presentation by the JSO Honor Guard; a “Missing Man” flyover by the JSO Aviation Unit; and a reading of the poem “The Final Inspection”. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office Pipes and Drums Corp performed the music selection “Going Home” before the ceremony concluded with the formal retirement of the wreath by Sheriff Rutherford and FOP President Steve Amos.
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