INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — May 2, 2019 officially marks the first Police Officer Rememberance Day. Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the signature of the proclamation at Thursday’s Fraternal Order of Police officer memorial ceremony.
Families and friends of fallen officers said every year these ceremonies are difficult for them emotionally but they provide them with hope that their loved ones won’t be forgotten.
One by one the names of officers who died too soon were called and their families and friends laid a flag in their honor.
“It does help you to know that your, personally my dad, will never be forgotten. Not only by just my family but by his police family, or our police family,” said Kathy Mitchell.
Mitchell lost her father, Sgt. David L. Sandler, in the ’80s. She said she has been coming to the memorial ceremonies for years.
“It also helps me help others who are now coming into this family that you don’t ask to be a part of,” said Mitchell.
Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Pickett was killed in 2018. This was the first year his mom and dad have experienced this side of law enforcement.
“My wife and I are very honored. The way that the community has uplifted our son and held him on a high it is just, we are very honored. We are very proud,” said Deputy Pickett’s father, Marlin Pickett.
For these families who suffer loss, time may pass but the pain of losing their loved ones never goes away.
“Your pain gets different as you go along, everyone greives different. However, being together and knowing that someone else or other people understand your grief it helps tremendously,” said Mitchell.
“It has been hard. It has been a rollercoaster that I guess the hills get smaller as you go along but it is never over,” added Pickett.
While they honor their loved ones, these families also want to show their appreciation for those who continue to risk their lives to protect others.
“Our officers are out their everyday and they never know if they are going to come home or not,” said Mitchell.
May 15 is the day nationally recognized as Peace Officers Memorial Day.