Fallen officers honored at ceremonies Friday
One by one, Oklahoma City officers on Friday walked stoically, each clutching a single white flower that symbolized the life of a fellow officer lost in the line of duty.
Local dignitaries and family members of those killed watched silently as the officers approached the city’s Fallen Officer Memorial, gently laid the rose down and saluted the names inscribed on the granite memorial.
“This is a day that we specifically honor those members of the Oklahoma City police force who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting the citizens of Oklahoma City,” said Oklahoma County District Judge Ray C. Elliott, the keynote speaker for Friday’s ceremony.
Elliott noted that oftentimes officers are taken for granted and feared and resented by members of the community until they become victims of crime.
“At that moment, many times you are indeed needed and recognized as being able and willing to provide help, assistance and even comfort," Elliott said to the officers at the ceremony.
“It has always been a near thankless job to strap on the gun, the badge and the uniform of a police officer. But in today’s world, in the climate in which we live, it takes a very special person to be willing to risk his or her life to protect a society that on many levels do not appreciate them or their work.”
As officers and others attending the ceremony bowed their heads in prayer, Oklahoma City Police Department Chaplain Charlie Phillips asked of God that those killed would never be forgotten.
Hours earlier, a separate ceremony honoring all law enforcement officers who died in the state was held at the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial on the grounds of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
Five officers joined the hundreds of officers already listed at the memorial:
• Cpl. William H. Briggs, Creek County Sheriff’s Office.
• Reserve officer Jarate D. Condit, Asher Police Department.
• Trooper Daniel B. Martin, Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
• Investigator Timothy Dale Cole Sr., Comanche County District Attorney’s Office.
• Kristopher David Youngberg, federal agent.