By Trey Rusk
Thirty law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in Galveston County. I attended a Memorial Service for these officers on Wednesday, May 15th. The Galveston County municipality of Dickinson hosted the ceremony. They did an outstanding job.
I try to attend this event each year because I'm a member of a special club, law enforcement. I wore my retired badge and side arm to the event as I'm proud of my 42 years of service. Before leaving, my wife complimented me and took a picture but this blog isn't about me. It's about lives sacrificed for others. It's about the Thin Blue Line.
The ceremony begins with a Call to Order by Dickinson's Chief of Police, Ron Morales, the Invocation, Presentation of the Colors, Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of The National Anthem. The Honor Guard consisting of officers from multiple agencies presented the colors. A friend and former partner of mine, Jim Johnson from the Auto Crimes Task Force sang the National Anthem flawlessly.
Mr. Eugene Kranz, a citizen of Dickinson and the former Chief Flight Engineer during the Gemini and Apollo programs with NASA gave the keynote address. It was inspiring.
A roll call is read by a member of the department for whom the deceased served and a long stemmed rose was placed in a large vase filled with blue water.
The records of law enforcement deaths in Galveston County go back to 1873.
The family members that are still living of the fallen officers were present and seated near the roses and a Memorial Wreath. I could see the sting of death for their loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice was ever present.
Out of no where a dispatcher sounded last call for the officers and bag pipes played "Amazing Grace."
A twenty one gun salute by members of the honor guard rang out and then Taps were played. The event ended with a Benediction and closing remarks from Chief Morales.
I estimated the attendees to be around 200 people, including law enforcement.
I tell you all of this because I was proud to be there. I had worked cases with a lot of the attendees. I had been involved in life threatening situations with them. The strong bond of our brotherhood was on display.
Even though I'm retired, I'm a cop. I will always be proud to be a part of the Thin Blue Line.
That's the way I see it.