News and Press Releases

DEDICATION OF THE MARTIN COUNTY FALLEN OFFICERS MEMORIAL

WILLIAMSTON, NORTH CAROLINA

OCTOBER 29, 2010

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US HERE TODAY FOR THE DEDICATION OF THIS MEMORIAL RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANT WORK AND ULTIMATE SACRIFICE MADE BY THREE MEMBERS OF THE MARTIN COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY. I AM HONORED AND GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PAY MY RESPECTS TO THE MEMORY OF PATROLMAN GUY THOMAS DAVIS, JR., NORTH CAROLINA STATE HIGHWAY PATROL, SHERIFF JERRY VERNON BEACH, MARTIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, LIEUTENANT CHARLES DOUGLAS BROWN, JR., MARTIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, AND THEIR FAMILIES, COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS. THESE MEN REPRESENTED THE BEST THAT OUR COUNTRY AND OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY HAVE TO OFFER. SELFLESSNESS, FEARLESSNESS AND VALOR CHARACTERIZED EACH OF THESE OFFICERS. THESE ARE RARE AND HONORABLE TRAITS.

ALTHOUGH NO MEMORIAL, CEREMONY OR SALUTE CAN EASE THE PAIN OF YOUR LOSS, THERE IS SOMETHING THAT YOU MUST KNOW. THE GRATITUDE THAT I, ALONG WITH THE MANY LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS HERE TODAY, FEEL FOR YOUR LOVED ONES IS SHARED BY THE ENTIRE NATION. WE ARE ALL SAFER FOR THEIR SACRIFICES. AND WE WILL ALWAYS BE INSPIRED BY THEIR EXAMPLE OF SERVICE.

UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY MAY BE WHAT BRINGS US HERE. BUT OUR UNENDING APPRECIATION - FOR THE UNSUNG WORK OF LAW ENFORCEMENT - IS WHAT BINDS US AND ALL AMERICANS TOGETHER. THESE OFFICERS SECURED OUR HOME, OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, OUR STATE AND OUR NATION. THE CHOICE OF THESE HEROIC MEN TO LIVE FOR THEIR COMMUNITY, STATE AND THEIR COUNTRY WAS MADE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THEY COULD DIE FOR IT TOO. THEIR CHOICE REMINDS US OF JUST HOW BRAVE - AND HOW REMARKABLE - THEY WERE. THEY DEFINED WHAT IS BEST ABOUT OUR COUNTRY.

IT ALSO REMINDS US OF OUR DUTY TODAY, AND EVERY DAY. WE UNDERSTAND THE RISK OF LAW ENFORCEMENT WORK, BUT WE MUST ALSO UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGE. WE MUST JOIN OUR NATION’S LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY IN STANDING UP AGAINST CRIMES LARGE AND SMALL. WE MUST HELP EACH OTHER IN TIMES OF NEED. AND ABOVE ALL, WE MUST PROTECT THOSE WHO MAKE SERVICE TO OTHERS THEIR LIFE’S WORK. AT THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THERE QUITE SIMPLY IS NO MORE IMPORTANT PRIORITY, THAN KEEPING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS SAFE.

TODAY, I WISH I COULD GIVE YOU - THE FAMILIES, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES OF THESE FALLEN HEROS - THE PEACE YOU SEEK. BUT I CANNOT. I CAN, HOWEVER, MAKE YOU A PROMISE. THE WORK THAT THEY LOVED WILL CONTINUE. THEIR SACRIFICE AND YOUR LOSS WILL BE HONORED BY A NATION THAT IS STRENGTHENED BY THEIR EXAMPLE.

AND WHILE WE CAN NEVER REPAY THE DEBT WE OWE THESE COURAGEOUS PUBLIC SERVANTS, WE WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR STORIES. AND SO I DEDICATE THIS MONUMENT IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE.

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