Author: John M.R. Bull
From the mountains to the sea, law enforcement officers from across North Carolina gathered today at a memorial service for the 30 uniformed men and women who died in the line of duty over the past year.
Bagpipes sounded out mournfully. Buglers played Taps. A helicopter did a flyover. A choir sang. Honor guards somberly saluted. A three-round volley went off.
One by one, the names and ranks of the men and women who passed on were read, memorialized, honored.
One red rose for each officer was placed in a bright white memorial wreath as a candle was lit for each of them.
“Every time an officer is lost, there is a new beginning,” said Rev. Kendrick, chaplain of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office and the Rocky Mount Police Department. “My heart breaks for every family, for every department. The sun will shine again.”
The 2022 North Carolina Peace Officers’ Memorial Day service was held at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, with around 600 people in attendance to honor the fallen and to grieve with their families – both blood kin and work families.
A flag was posted for each of the 19 law enforcement agencies who lost someone in the line of duty over the past year.
This included sheriff’s offices and police departments across the state, as well as the state Department of Public Safety, which lost 10 correctional staff, a probation/parole officer, and a State Highway Patrol trooper.
DPS Secretary Eddie Buffaloe Jr. read a proclamation from Governor Roy Cooper honoring the dedicated professionals who wear the badge of service. Senior leaders from across DPS attended to show their support and respect for the fallen.
The state prison system’s Honor Guard saluted. The North Carolina Law Enforcement Choir sang. Bagpiper Lt. Scott Stanton of the Greenville Police Department played Amazing Grace. A three-round volley was performed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Honor Guard Rifle Team.
“When others run, law enforcement officers go to it,” noted Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone. “This is an increasingly dangerous profession.”
By the end of the service, the names of the 30 men and women who died over the past year in the line of duty while serving in North Carolina law enforcement agencies were formally added to the North Carolina Honor Roll, which dates back to 1804.
View photos of the event here.