RED OAK — Silent honor was given as the names of fallen officers from across the state and county were read aloud at the Red Oak Police Department on Friday morning.
Each name was marked with the toning of a bell to commemorate a life given to the fullest measure.
Officers from around the area and the public came together to remember these individuals in a memorial service as part of National Police Week. Deputy Bruce Stayments of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office provided a prayer for officers and their families.
“We ask for your blessing on this time this morning as we memorialize, as we remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives for defending peace and justice in our land. We pray, God, for the families who are remembering today their loved ones, for the friends and for the communities of those who have fallen. We pray for peace,” Stayments said. “Father, I pray for my colleagues this morning around every state in our great nation. I pray for strength for my colleagues, for courage and we ask for your blessing in this time.”
National Police Week takes place each year during the week of May 15 and honors the sacrifices made by members of law enforcement throughout the country. The commemorative week was established by a resolution of Congress in 1962.
The names of 316 fallen officers nationwide were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., during the 23rd annual candlelight vigil the evening of May 13. During 2010, 152 officers were killed and the names of 164 officers who died in previous years also were added to the memorial.
Red Oak Police Chief Craig Rudolph said the week helps people to remember the service given by “these brave men and women.”
“Every day, public safety officers put their lives on the line to protect the citizens and communities of this great state, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice. One death is too many and every death is an unfathomable loss to the officers family, colleagues and community,” Rudolph said.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown reflected on Rudolph’s thoughts, saying it’s important to remember the officers on this day but to keep them and their families in one’s hearts every day.
Officer James Babb of the Plano Police Department played bagpipes as the flags were lowered to half staff by Red Oak firefighters. A wreath was placed in front of the flagpoles by DeSoto officers and a 21-gun salute was made by the Dallas Police Department Honor Guard. “Taps” was played by Dallas officer Cpl. Mark Lang and a flyover was conducted by the department’s Air One helicopter.
Dr. Glynn Hall, senior pilot for the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, gave a closing prayer asking for protection for individuals who serve communities, state and country each day as they perform their duties.
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