Peace Officers Memorial Service to be held May 12
The 14th annual Peace Officers Memorial Service is May 12 at First Presbyterian Church, 308 W. Fisher St.
The event is an annual service to honor and remember city and county law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and those who continue to serve in law enforcement, a press release said.
The public is invited to attend the service, which is held in conjunction with 2009 National Police Week, May 10-16.
Each year, the service unites the Salisbury Police Department and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office as they pay homage to their fallen comrades at arms.
Prior to the beginning of the service, the Salisbury Police Explorers will perform the “Placing of the Wreath” and a musical prelude will be offered by Timothy D. Belflowers. The service will commence with the Rowan County Honor Guard performing the “Posting of Colors” at noon. A Salisbury Police Explorer will then lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Dr. Jim C. Dunkin, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, will give the invocation. Mayor Susan Kluttz will speak.
On behalf of the Salisbury City Council, the mayor said, “I would like to cordially invite the public to attend this memorial service as together we honor the memory of those so devoted to preserving justice through their protection of our freedom and their commitment to ensuring liberty and peace. To the parents, families and friends of these dedicated heroes, we embrace you with sincere compassion and with our heartfelt prayers. The memory of these brave men and women shall live on forever as we will remember them always in our hearts.
“In addition, we take this opportunity to thank all law enforcement personnel and their families for their service to us every day. It is truly with the greatest of honor, respect, and dignity that we recognize the many dedicated peace officers throughout our community.”
Special music, “Heaven’s Bright Shore,” will be shared by The Singing Deacons. The group includes Jeff McCorkle of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and his daughter, Madison.
Salisbury Police Chaplain Tom Teichroew will offer the scripture lesson. A musical arrangement, “Dance of the Blessed Spirits,” will be performed by Violinist Greg Pannell with accompaniment by Sgt. Lee Walker, both of the Salisbury Police.
The “Altar Ritual/Final Inspection of the Wreath” will be conducted by Salisbury Deputy Chief Steve Whitley, serving as Honor Guard Commander of the service. Recognition of state and local roll calls of honor and officers reverently remembered will follow.
The State of North Carolina Roll Call of Honor will commence as Chaplain Mike Taylor, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, remembers those deputies, troopers and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty from May 2008-May 2009.
Chaplain Harold Bumby of the Salisbury Police Department will offer the final benediction with those in attendance dismissed to the courtyard fountain area; the colors and wreath will be retired to this area as well. The Salisbury Police Department Honor Guard will offer the traditional 21-gun salute in honor of those remembered.
The ceremony will conclude with a trumpeter’s rendition of Taps.
“We encourage all citizens to attend this memorial service as we remember those who loyally gave their lives to ensure safety for others,” Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said. “The sacrifice of their families is supreme and I assure you that these brave men and women will never be forgotten. Each one courageously swore an oath to uphold the law and assumed the responsibility of protecting our neighborhoods and our community. They have rightfully earned a place in our hearts forever.”
In addition, the N.C. Attorney General’s Office will conduct its annual Peace Officers Memorial Day Ceremony in Kannapolis. The May 6 ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at Charity Baptist Church, 2420 Brantley Road. Representatives from North Carolina law enforcement agencies will be in attendance and the public is welcome to attend.