FAYETTEVILLE — APeace Officers Memorial Servicein Cumberland County Tuesday morning had special meaning. The Sheriff's Office unveiled a permanent monument to honor those Cumberland County law officers killed in the line of duty.
The memorial has 30 names on it, dating back to 1907 -- names of people who all died protecting others.
Barbara Hathcock will never forget September 23, 1997, the day her husband David and Trooper Ed Lowry were gunned down on Interstate 95.
Their names and their purpose are now etched in stone for all Cumberland County citizens to see.
"It tells me he worked for a fine community, one he loved, cherished and died for," Hathcock says of the memorial.
Trooper Lowry's widow agrees. "It makes me proud that Hope Mills, Fayetteville and Cumberland County saw fit to do such a fine thing for the community, not just my husband, but the whole law enforcement community," Lowry says.
Businesses and members of the community raised the money to build the $30,000 monument. Jamaisha Ward helped raise money for the monument as part of a school project. The 10-year-old Rockfish Elementary student wanted "to recognize the people that gave their lives for us."
The memorial is a permanent reminder that the profession of law enforcement can never be taken for granted.
"You never know what you are going to deal with next," saysRichard Holden, N.C. Highway Patrol Commander. "You may be confronted with a robber or someone who assaulted a person."
The person in the middle of the monument, mourning and holding a flag, is an unmarked officer. Although the memorial stands in front of the Cumberland County Sheriff's officer, it is intended to honor all who lost their lives serving this county.