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Arizona's Peace Officer Memorial


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  • Arizona's Peace Officer Memorial

    Tonight, I took some time away from the computer, away from my writing and away from my family to attend the 34th annual Arizona Peace Officers Memorial Service at Wesley Bolan Plaza in downtown Phoenix. I went for a variety of reasons. The main reason however was to pay a final tribute to those who gave all. I want to share my experience with those non-LEO's who may have never attended one of these services and LEO's who just want to listen to me reflect.

    I arrived at WBP at about ten of seven. The ceremony was set to start at seven so I had actually made it on time. When I walked up a group of bag-pipers were playing a slow mournful tune that had an instantly sobering effect on anyone who was listening. Children were quiet, people stood not speaking and even the wind was calm for a change. The group of bag-pipers quit and faintly a lone piper could be heard. The piper grew louder as he led the processional of the family of those lost. I sniffled a few times and managed to keep it together.

    The color guard came in carrying the flags for US and Arizona. I just wish someone had warend me that the guy barking out orders for the color gaurd was right next to me. He yelled out the first command I darn near yelled "Yes, SIR" in response.

    The national anthem was sung, dignitaries spoke platitudes and a few stories were told about each of the officers being honored this night. Again a sniffle or two, but still holding it together. I was really doing okay until the missing man helicopter fly over. Then I started bawling. I wiped my eyes and felt really stupid until I felt a supportive arm around my shoulder and there was this older man (maybe 60's) in uniform, wiping his own eyes. I thought I would be fine now that I had a good cry under my belt, but when TAPS began, so did my tears. Thinking that surely NOW I was all done crying, I managed to get it down a sniffle when they did a last call for each of the officers. Yup, you guessed it. I shed more tears and by the time the last name was read I had given up the pretense of using my hand to wipe away the tears and was now using my shirt sleeve.

    The service concluded with a twenty-one gun salute (and more bawling by yours truly) and the color guard exiting. This time when orders were barked I merely jumped instead of making a puddle. After the service I was able to photograph the Peace Officers memorial statue as well as the K-9 Memorial for dogs lost in the line of duty. Now, after a highly emotional night I am going to go to bed.

    Guys and Gals, please be safe out there. I don't want to hear the name of anyone I know during next years service.
    R.I.P. Sgt. 1st Class Raymond J. Munden

    You're service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    Kieth M.
    I once knew a guy who said, "I'll step over any nine to get to three threes!"

    I knew at that precise moment that he and I would never get into a fistfight over a woman.

  • #2

    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


    • #3
      I remember going to this memorial when we were in Phoenix last year for the big rally they had. I can't express how I felt when I read the names and thought about the sacrifices they all made. They will never be forgotten.

      Thanks for sharing, katzeye and thanks for the terrific pic, Sarge.


      • #4
        Great picture! I want to get to DC this summer.
        "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

        "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep


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