Honoring the fallen

Sun shines on somber Law Enforcement Memorial Day ceremony Wednesday

Washington County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard members stand at attention after posting the U.S. And Minnesota flags on the steps of the Historic Courthouse. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Washington County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard members stand at attention after posting the U.S. And Minnesota flags on the steps of the Historic Courthouse. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Law enforcement and corrections officers from across Washington County paused for an hour Wednesday afternoon to remember their comrades from around the U.S. who lost their lives in 2012.

Amid pomp, prayers and music, officers from several departments somberly read the names of more than 100 fallen law enforcement and corrections officers during the 19th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Day observance at the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater.

In remarks at the start of the ceremony, Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton noted that the number of law enforcement and corrections officers killed in the line of duty dropped last year from numbers in 2010 and 2011.

“But even one is too many,” he said. “We live in the real world and deal with some very, very incredible situations.”

State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Wade Setter urged those at the ceremony to visit the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., and read the names of the more than 300 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty inscribed on the memorial.

“Everyone of us here from the law enforcement community understands that we may not come home,” he said. “Heroes live forever and it is our obligation to keep them alive in our hearts and our memories. God bless this profession and God bless America.”
The Historic Courthouse ceremony came one day after the Washington County Board of Commissioners designated Wednesday Law Enforcement Memorial Day and Sunday through Saturday as Law Enforcement Memorial Week.

President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Law Enforcement Memorial Day in 1962. Kennedy’s intent was to take a day to formally honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty serving their communities.

— Erik Sandin, erik.sandin@ecm-inc.com

A member of the crowd bows his head in prayer during Wednesday’s Law Enforcement Memorial Day ceremony at the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater.  (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Washington County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard members stand at attention after posting the U.S. And Minnesota flags on the steps of the Historic Courthouse. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

A Washington County Sheriff’s deputy lines up law enforcement and corrections officers on the steps of the Historic Courthouse Wednesday for a group photograph after the Law Enforcement Memorial Day ceremony. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

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