Rain did not dampen the spirits of a group of Salinans who gathered Monday morning to honor and remember local police, sheriff, and highway patrol officers who have died in the line of duty.
A Peace Officer Memorial Day event, which was planned for Jerry Ivey Park, was moved to a nearby church.
A crowd that included law enforcement and their family and friends, firefighters, and citizens gathered to honor, and pay respect to local officers who have died in the line of duty. The event was also about thanking current law enforcement for what they do on a daily basis.
Retired Judge Jerome Hellmer spoke. He thanked first responders for the sacrifices they make, and had a message of responsibility for everyone. He said “it would make our community a far better place.”
The ceremony included speakers, the Salina Police Color Guard presenting the colors, the playing of “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes, and the playing of “Taps” on echoing trumpets. Salina Police Sgt. Chad McCary read a roll call of the 15 local officers from the Salina Police Department, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, and Kansas Highway Patrol killed in the line of duty.
Following events at the church, an unveiling ceremony was held at the Salina Police Station. A memorial “Fallen But Not Forgotten” wall was unveiled in the lobby. The four Salina Police Officers who have died in the line of duty are memorialized on the wall.
The two sons of Jerry Ivey, the last Salina Police Officer killed in the line of duty, were at the ceremony and pulled down the curtain to reveal the memorial wall.
Prior the unveiling, Salina Police Chief Brad Nelson held a moment of silence in honor of Brad Lancaster, a Kansas City Police Officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty last week.
The memorial wall, which cost several thousand dollars, was Chief Nelson’s idea. He tells KSAL News that it is totally funded through private donations.
The events Monday morning in Salina were part of National Police Week, and Peace Officer Memorial Day.
National Peace Officers Memorial Day was established in 1961 to recognize local, state, and federal law enforcement and peace officials.
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