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Community Honors Fallen Officers Friday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Taps played. So did the bagpipes. The community gathered in a light rain Friday morning to honor the men and women of law enforcement. Flags flew at half staff in honor of those who have fallen.

Officers and their families, citizens and local leaders gathered outside the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department Friday morning to honor the fallen.

Cookeville Police Chief Randy Evans thanked the officers in attendance for the courage they show everyday in their service to local communities. He said selfless service and sacrifice are part of those who serve in law enforcement.

“Unlike most careers, the brave men and women who embark upon the life in law enforcement know fully well that one day that they may be called upon or even asked to lay down their lives in the line of duty,” Evans said. “For those we honor today made that choice unselfishly. I would even suggest they embraced it. I can think of no truer measure of a hero.”

District attorney Bryant Dunaway challenged the officers in attendance to consider their duty to keep the badge from being tarnished.

“I ask all of you in law enforcement every day when you prepare for your shift, when you look in the mirror and place that badge on your chest or on your belt, stop and think ‘will I live up to the legacy and have the integrity of those who have gone before me?’ Those who have lost their lives to polish this badge and keep it from being tarnished,” Dunaway said. “When you look in the mirror and say yes, then you’re ready to start your shift.

State Senator Paul Bailey read the presidential proclamation of National Peace Officer Memorial Day. He said the scriptures help us understand the sacrifice made by officers.

“It says ‘greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,’” Bailey said. “And let us remember these words today in all ways and in deepest gratitude. Let us be secure in the knowledge that our dear friends rest in peace and in a place of honor. So let us be grateful for their sacrifice and now celebrate their lives with pride and affection.”

On a recent trip to Washington DC, State Representative Ryan Williams visited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. He noted the lions around the memorial and said law enforcement officers serve as the lions, protecting citizens of the region.

Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris organized the event which included the laying of a wreath in honor of the four Putnam County Sheriffs Deputies who have died in the line of duty.


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