Humans instinctively run away from danger but it is a law enforcement officer’s duty to run toward it.
These men and women knowingly putting their lives on the line every time they clock into work, but unfortunately, not all of them make it back home.
Friday, Police Memorial Day, was for those lives lost in the line of duty.
Hundreds gathered to pay tribute to the 65 federal, state and local Alaska law enforcement officers that have lost their lives from Sept. 1, 1898, to Dec. 18, 2013.
Friends and families of fallen officers, members of law enforcement agencies from across the state and community members looked on as three more names were added to the memorial that honors our fallen heroes.
The three latest additions to the sobering police memorial were Village Public Safety Officer Thomas Madole, Alaska State Trooper Tage Toll and Petty Officer Third Class Travis Obendorf. All were killed in the line of duty in 2013.
“Those of you who put your lives on the line are heroes,” said Randy Hughes, a retired Anchorage police officer. “Those of you who paid the ultimate sacrifice are legends. All around us, throughout our training and even in our nightly conversations, these legends and their stories come to life. Their courage throughout their careers is passed on through the ranks.”
Sgt. Scott Johnson and trooper Gabriel Rich, who died on May 1 of this year, were also honored at Friday’s event. Their names will be added onto the state police memorial on Police Memorial Day in 2015.