More than 100 gather for fallen officers' memorial in Port Angeles
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Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin, right, pulls a cord supported by Detective Paul Dailidenas of the Sequim Police Department to ring the Liberty Bell replica at Veterans Park in Port Angeles on Thursday in honor of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. — Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — More than 100 people paid their respects to fallen law enforcement officers at a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park on Thursday.

Members of the American Legion Riders Walter Akeley Post 29 lined the park walkway with U.S. flags, with law enforcement officers and employees behind them.

Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict opened the ceremony with a reading of the proclamation signed by President John F. Kennedy that created the annual Police Week in 1962.

“Clallam County has had two peace officers fall in the line of duty in the recent past,” Benedict said.

Sheriff's Deputy Wally Davis was killed Aug. 5, 2000. Forest Service Officer Kristine Fairbanks was fatally shot Sept. 20, 2008.

Neither Davis' nor Fairbanks' families were at the ceremony, though they have attended past events.

National Law Enforcement Memorial Week is held each year on the second full week in May to recognize those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The gathering at Veterans Memorial Park included Clallam County sheriff's deputies, Port Angeles and Sequim police officers, Olympic National Park rangers and U.S. Border Patrol personnel.

Clallam County Commissioner Mike Chapman read a proclamation.

“It is important that all citizens know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards and sacrifices of our law enforcement agencies, and that members of our law enforcement agencies recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence and disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression,” Chapman read.

A group of 21 volunteers, led by Benedict and Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher, took turns ringing the park's replica of the Liberty Bell in a 21-bell salute, followed by a 21-gun salute performed by the Marine Corps League.

Brian Knutson and John Keegan of the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and Mark Poole of the Sequim Police Department served as color guard and performed a silent flag-folding ceremony.

The Marine Corps League played taps to conclude the event.

A brief memorial was held at Davis' grave site following the park ceremony.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 15. 2014 10:36PM
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