Local News

N.C. fallen officers honored in Fayetteville

Posted May 12, 2010 12:59 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were honored on Wednesday during an annual ceremony in Fayetteville.

Martha Lennon’s youngest son, Deputy Allen Bernard Lennon, of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, was killed during a high-speed chase in August 1992. He was 30.

Lennon said Wednesday’s Peace Officers Memorial brought back many memories.

“I just can’t explain it. It just brought back a feeling that you cannot explain,” she said. “It let me know he’s still being remembered.”

For the past 18 years, Lennon has attended the ceremony in front of the Cumberland County Courthouse to hear her son’s name read aloud, along with those 488 other fallen officers from across the state.

Thelma Matthews attended the ceremony in honor of her son, Cumberland County Deputy Brian Christopher Matthews, who was killed when his car overturned while answering a call. She said the memorial is especially hard to attend because of the sea of gray uniforms in attendance – the same her son wore.

Thirty-four law officers have died in Cumberland County since 1907.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Fayetteville, Hope Mills Police, Fort Bragg, and Spring Lake police departments and the state Highway Patrol joined forces for the memorial, a part of National Law Enforcement Memorial Week.

The tribute began on Tuesday when a memorial motorcycle ride stopped in Fayetteville. The North Carolina Fallen Officer Memorial Ride, which was organized by Project Lifesaver and other agencies, is traveling to 100 counties in nine days.