Crisp uniforms, flags flying in the wind and solemn faces were augmented by the honor paid Monday to those law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during the history of Navarro County.

Ceremonies marking Police Memorial Day were held on the courthouse lawn with full pomp and circumstance.

Corsicana Police Sgt. (ret.) Lewis Palos spoke of the sacrifice, the protection and the valor shown by those officers and the officers that follow behind in protecting and serve the citizens of this area.

“We all stand here today proud to be a part of a brotherhood, a family of peace officers,” Palos said. “We are different agencies but represent one cause. ... We do justice for our fallen comrades when we take just a little time to care, to remember and to respect the officers and their families.”

But he reminded the many officers standing in formation and serving in honor guards, as well as the 150 or so area residents in attendance, that the day was also about those presently in uniform.

“We also pay tribute to all peace officers who live on and carry the badge of courage and valor,” he said. “Peace officers don’t consider law enforcement a job, it is a profession and vocation, a special challenge for a special and unique person.

“A person who goes from not being noticed to being noticed, not being involved to being involved, running from trouble to running to trouble, from keeping quiet to being heard and taking charge.”

Monday’s ceremonies were directed by CPD Chief G.M. Cox, as CPD Capt. Kenneth Kirkwood served as the Officer of the Day. Rick Lamb, the sheriff’s office chaplain, gave the invocation while B.F. Risinger, the CPD chaplain, gave the benediction.

Sheriff Les Cotten read the roll call of names of the officers who died in the line of duty.

Ft. Worth Officer Greg Riddle, a former CPD officer himself, sang two songs for the event — “The National Anthem” and “I’ll Wait for You.” CHS band member Chelsea Ward was the event’s bugler, playing “Taps” at the end of the ceremony.

The Corsicana Color Guard presented the flags and an honor guard made up of all the local branches of local law enforcement fired a 21-gun salute in honor of the fallen.

While the day was in memory of those who are the fallen, Palos reminded everyone in attendance that they too have an obligation, a payment for services rendered.

“My dear friends, today law enforcement honors their fallen officers and makes the citizens of America aware that every 57 hours another law enforcement officer gives up his or her life for perfect strangers,” he said. “I humbly request that all citizens pray daily for our peace officers and for one another that we are fortunate to live in a country where freedom rings loud and proud and that law enforcement and our military defense makes freedom happen.”

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Loyd Cook may be reached via e-mail at lcook@corsicanadailysun.com

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