RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KETK)- Community members gathered on Friday in Rusk County to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty.
The 17th annual Rusk County Memorial Ceremony was held in Henderson. First they raised the flag, then officers lowered it to half staff in memory of those who are no longer with us.
District Attorney Michael Jimerson opened with a few words and Henderson Police Chaplain Stacy Horne led prayers to thank God for the brave officers on the front line and to keep them safe while fulfilling their duties.
“We ask you to watch over all of our law enforcement officers and personnel here and throughout this nation. Lord, protect them from all harm in the performance of all of their duties to stop crime, robberies, riots, and all of the violence God, while protecting and serving our communities,” said Horne.
During the event, students from Full Armor Christian Academy sang The National Anthem. Amazing Grace was also played on the bagpipes as the audience bowed their heads in silence.
Rusk County Sheriff Johnwayne Valdez also made some comments. For him, this event was more than a formality. It was personal to his heart because he had to bury four fellow officers in his career.
“We must learn from our lost brothers and sisters to ensure that we are prepared to meet the dangerous encounters that they met,” he said. “We must prepare ourselves to be the best each and every shift with the ultimate goal of making it home at the end of shift.”
The Friday ceremony ended with a gun salute and taps played by members of the Henderson Police Department.
Valdez also said this event is an important presence in Rusk County because law enforcement and the community are intertwined, and it’s necessary for the public to be a part in remembering these sacrifices.
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