Online Originals: “Peace Officers Memorial Observance” pays tribute to officers fallen in the line of duty

Online Originals

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Fallen officers were honored at the Peace Officers Memorial Observance in Jacksonville. 

Mayor Sammy Phillips gave remarks as well as officials from Jacksonville Public Safety.  

“This is huge,” said Police Captain Chuck James. “These guys gave the ultimate sacrifice. It wasn’t just them, it was their families, their loved ones you know.” 

It was held at the Jacksonville Public Safety Remembrance Garden. The event included an honor guard, ceremonial music, a gun salute, and laying of a ceremonial wreath. Officers from across the region were also there. 

“We talk a lot about the officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” said Chief of Police and Public Safety Director Mike Yaniero. “It’s important for us to remember them every year because they committed their lives to make our community a better place.” 

The total number of officers’ lives lost in North Carolina during the year 2020 in the line of duty was seven. They honored those officers and more. 

“I didn’t serve with these gentlemen,” said Capt James. “You know, I’ve been here 24 years and during that time we haven’t lost anyone but last year we’ve lost seven officers here in North Carolina.”

They say doing events like this is the least they could do for the officers that served.  

“One thing in Law Enforcement,” said Capt James. “You have to have that heart of service, you have to go out there and do the right thing.”

They want people to remember the fallen going forward. Police Captain James has one message for the public after this event. 

“If they remember that we’re human,” said Capt James. “We’re human just like they are. We all get dressed the same way. We’re a part of this neighborhood, we’re a part of this community.” 

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