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Memorial Held for Troopers Killed in the Line of Duty

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RALEIGH — Highway Patrol officers risk their liveseveryday and sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice. Thursday nightthe North Carolina Highway Patrol paid tribute to those who've lost theirlives in the line of duty.

The memorial was especially poignant and painful for troopers and theirfamilies, as the memory of the recent loss of Trooper Ed Lowry remainsfresh in their minds. Lowry was gunned down on Interstate-95 inCumberland County in September.As troopers remembered their fallen comrades, they also geared up fora busy season on the roads.

It didn't take long for cadets in the 98th Basic School and the othersin the Highway Patrol Christmas Memorial Service to bring tears to theeyes of those in attendance.

The main portion of the ceremony centered around reading the names of the48 troopers who have died in the line of duty since the highway patrolwas founded in 1929. A blue patrol car light was turned on after each namewas read. An unidentified trooper said all of his colleagues are touchedby this service.

Sergeant Ed Lowry made the ultimate sacrifice this year. At thememorial service, his family pinned his badge on the wreath used in thememorial. Lowry's wife Dixie Lowry said he died doing what he loved.

Lowry said it was especially gratifying for her to talk to thoseattending the service who are now training to become troopers. She saidshe told them that, despite what happened to her husband, the job wasworth the challenge and risk.