NC Officers Honored for Ultimate Sacrifice
Posted May 9, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Law officers from across North Carolina filed intoDuke ChapelMonday. They were joined by families and friends for a day of mourning, respect and pride.
The annual North Carolina Peace Officers Memorial Day brings those who protect and serve together.
There are six new names on the "Honor Roll" as it is called. It is the list of North Carolina officers who have died in the line of duty.
Of the half dozen additions, three were added just in the last two months.
Richard Moore, secretary ofCrime Control and Public Safety, told the mourners that such a memorial service can be painful but that it also affords the opportunity to remember the good times with which the officers will be associated.
"It's not how these officers died that made them a hero, but how they lived," said Moore.
From the smallest departments to theState Highway Patrol, all were proud to be there to pay respect to fallen friends and to pay tribute to heroes who died protecting the rest of us.
"Today we remember the service and sacrifice of six outstanding law officers who died before their time," said Moore.
The most recent name was added to the law enforcement honor roll last month. Warren County detectiveBill Weatherlywas shot to death as he tried to serve a warrant.
"Well, this takes me back to April 15 about the time I thought about the man going out, doing his duty as a deputy, as a detective, and I just reflect back to what type of person he was. He was just a very nice young man," said Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams.
In one particularly poignant assemblage, the commander of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the chief of the Enfield Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff sat next to each other in one pew.
"Words can't describe as I sat beside them today and I looked. We show the pain. You can sit on that row and feel the pain go from one end to the other. Just back and forth. We understand, and we're there to lean on," said Enfield Police Chief Carl Gregory.
Gregory's officer,Tonya Gilliken, died March 15. The Warren County detective died April 15.
When the chief traveled to Warren County to help the Sheriff, he says he felt like he stepped back in time, seeing the same pain and the same sad faces.