Bryan County residents gathered at Market Square on Thursday evening to honor fallen police officers. As part of National Peace Officers Memorial Day, a ceremony was held to remember those in Bryan County Law Enforcement who lost their lives in the line of duty.
Durant Police Chief Durward A. Cook began by recognizing the family of one of Bryan County’s fallen.
He told the family of Bryan County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Pace that he wanted them to know that Michael’s sacrifice would never be forgotten.
Calera Police Chief Don Hyde also recognized one of the fallen by name. He said each year he wears the badge of a man he didn’t even know to remember the sacrifice he made.
Hyde wears the badge of Caddo City Marshal Morgan Haddock, a relative of Hyde’s.
As the names of each of Bryan County’s fallen was read off, a red rose was placed in a wreath before the crowd. The wreath was adorned with eleven roses to honor each officer who died in the line of duty.
Durant City Manager Jim Dunegan and Durant Mayor Jerry Tomlinson both spoke at the event proclaiming their pride in the people who sacrificed their lives to protect others.
Dunegan said that it is a shame to lose such people because the work they did shows that these were quality people that were lost.
Guests were invited to stay when the ceremony ended to fellowship and show support to one another. Cook said that this event is important to the families of the fallen and to the ones still in law enforcement.
“It’s important to the families of the fallen and to officers to know the sacrifices they’ve made won’t be forgotten,” said Cook.
Those remembered at the Ceremony were: Bennington City Marshal James Eli Parish, Bokchito City Marshal Carl Lee “Don” Hart, Bokchito City Marshal Warren N. Smith, Bryan County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael D. Pace, Bryan County Sheriff John Ellis Williams, Caddo City Marshal Morgan Haddock, OK ABLE Commission Agent Lori Dean Thomas, OHP Trooper Houston F. “Pappy” Summers, OHP Trooper Billy Gene Young, OHP Lt. Pat Grimes and Duputy U.S. Marshal Abner David McLellan.