Bryan County honored their own with a memorial service at Market Square Thursday evening.
Durant Police Chief David Houser welcomed the crowd and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The memorial invocation was given by Durant Police Chaplain Jesse West.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Steve Emge sang the National Anthem with the Durant Police Honor Guard posting colors and placing the wreath.
OHP Lt. Scott Hampton recognized the local agencies represented: Achille Police, Bennington Police, Bokchito Police, Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, Caddo Police, Calera Police, Choctaw Nation Tribal Police, Colbert Police, Durant Police, Dept of Fish & Game, Dept of Probation & Parole, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and Southeastern Police.
Tim Rundel, Durant City Manager, was the guest speaker with Chaplain Bill Ledbetter reading a special scripture and leading the memorial prayer.
Bryan County Sheriff Johnny Christian read roll call, those officers no longer with us and their date of death:
Bennington City Marshal James Eli Parish-1912, Bokchito City Marshall Carl Lee “Don” Hart-1972, Bokchito City Marshal Warren N. Smith-1951, Bryan County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael D. Pace-1998, Bryan County Sheriff John Ellis Williams-1938, Caddo City Marshal Morgan Haddock-1951, OK ABLE Commission Agent Lori Dean Thomas-1994, OHP Trooper Nicholas Dees-2015,OHP Trooper Houston F. “Pappy” Summers-1978,OHP Trooper Billy Gene Young-1978, OHP Lt. Pat Grimes-1978, and Deputy US Marshal Abner David McLellan-1894.
Chaplain Jesse West, in addition to his duties for Durant Police, is pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Durant.
He said, “Words can’t say enough. I pray our community will get behind. I’m thankful in this community, and I pray that the surrounding communities, I feel like they are saying they are supportive of our police officers and I pray that we will do everything we can to support them and their families, pray for them on a regular basis. Try to make it a point to pray daily for police officers, firemen and first responders and those that are in harm’s way every day. We take them for granted.”
Amazing Grace was sung beautifully by Katrina Farr with the Retiring of Colors performed by the Durant Police Department Honor Guard.
Many of the law enforcement officers who attended have known someone who served with them, who is no longer with us.
They are like family and will not forget their friends who served beside them.
Bryan County Deputy and Bryan County Courthouse Security Johnny Bates said, “Mike Pace which was one of ours, a friend of mine. He was a Deputy Sheriff. Before Even I became a police officer, he inspired me to become a deputy. It’s great I got to come honor him today.”
The citizens of Bryan County will not forget those who served and put their life on the line.
Bryan County Sheriff Johnny Christian said, “There are a few I knew personally, that I worked with. This speaks directly to my heart. There are several across the state, that’s what I was explaining to my deputies, it doesn’t matter about uniforms, they are our brothers out here. We are together. This is a family affair. This is a family event. I can’t stress that enough, that this means so much to the families and it means so much to all of us, to remember.”
Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or [email protected]