PORT ANGELES — In a solemn ceremony attended by about 100 onlookers, law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were memorialized Monday.
“Against all odds these men and women go to work every day with the full realization that it could be their last shift, that it could be their family’s last chance to tell them that they love them,” Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said during the ceremony.
The 21-Salute Bell Ringing Ceremony included law enforcement representatives from throughout the North Olympic Peninsula.
Both Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Wally Davis, fatally shot in 2000, and U.S. Forest Service Officer Kristine Fairbanks, shot and killed in the hills above Sequim in 2008, were recognized during the ceremony.
Davis’ daughter, Jesse, attended the ceremony but did not speak.
Twelve men and women with the American Legion lined up with U.S. flags on the perimeter of Veterans Memorial Park, 217 S. Lincoln St., Port Angeles, for the ceremony with three more standing guard near the permanent flags at the park.
State Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, who is also a Clallam County commissioner, read a proclamation by the county board declaring National Law Enforcement Week and Monday as a special day to honor those who have fallen.
Sheriff’s Chaplain Tim Richards said a prayer beginning by reading a verse from 1 Timothy 2:1-2 which reads: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Peregrin went on to say that the ceremony was primarily to thank public servants.
“We would like to thank each and every one of you for what you do every day on our behalf,” he said.
“One law enforcement officer is killed in the U.S. every 53 hours.
“Last year, after a two-year decline, law enforcement fatalities spiked with 162 fatalities — a 40 percent increase over the year before.
The Liberty Bell replica was rung 21 times by representatives of various agencies.
_________Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.