Officer Memorial; honoring our fallen heroes - KOTA Territory News

Officer Memorial; honoring our fallen heroes

With the laying of a wreath and a gun salute, South Dakota law enforcement officers and their loved ones paid tribute to our fallen heroes Wednesday. "It's quite an event; it's quite emotional," said Dave Panzer, Pierre police chief.

May 14 is celebrated nationally as a day to honor law enforcement. Multiple law enforcement agencies gathered in Pierre for a wreath-laying ceremony and a memorial service, where the names of all officers lost were read aloud. "We not only have the opportunity to reflect on our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, but all law enforcement who make sacrifices on daily basis," said Panzer.

This includes Rapid City Officer Nick Armstrong and Rapid City Officer Ryan McCandless, who were both killed in the line of duty in 2011. "There's not a day that goes by that we're not thinking about those guys," said Lt. Don Hedrick, Rapid City police.

Ten Rapid City officers made the drive to Pierre to lay flowers and salute all officers who gave their lives. Hedrick says Wednesday's service isn't the first one he's been to, but it's still emotional. "Just knowing some of the people that have been involved in the events in the past, and I think it's important to take a minute and recognize those who have fallen in the line of duty," said Hedrick.

A reflection the public is invited to share.

Fifty-two South Dakotan officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. Two tribal officers and 12 federal officers were killed as well.

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