Remembering the fallen

Published 6:42 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Officers from the Troy Police Department salute during the 2011 TPD Police Memorial Day in Troy, Ala., Wednesday, May 18, 2011. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Law enforcement, their families and a community of supporters gathered Wednesday to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty as they do every year at the Police Memorial Day ceremony. But, this wasn’t just like any year.

“This is the first one of these ceremonies where no officer was serving with an officer killed in the line of duty,” said Troy City Councilman Jason Reeves. “It’s more important than ever we recognize how blessed we’ve been to be able to go this long without anyone getting hurt. We hope and pray nobody gets hurt everyday.”

The Police Memorial Day Ceremony, held at the Troy Police Department, honored officers from across Pike County and specifically Troy, who have lost their lives protecting their community.

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The officers were Will G. Jackson, June 3, 1905; Hayden Youngblood, May 22, 1962; Cecil Sullivan, Nov. 12, 1967; Billy Dease, Jan. 15, 1968; Steve Watkins, Nov. 26, 1981.

“Today we honor those who have given their lives in the line of duty,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

Police Memorial Day falls in the middle of the National Police Memorial Week, a time set aside to not only honor those officers who have died but those who continue to serve.

“You risk having your name added to this memorial every day,” said Lunsford, referring to the memorial marker in front of the police station.

“You get up everyday and selflessly protect us, and we appreciate it.”