NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Just ahead of National Police Week, Tennessee honored its officers killed in the line of duty.
On Tuesday, the Fraternal Order of Tennessee Police added 19 new names to its memorial in Legislative Square across from the state Capitol. Each officer died between 2020 and 2021.
The ceremony included bagpipes, a 21-gun salute and a speech by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
“We can never express our gratitude. We cannot express our gratitude enough for the sacrifices you have made on behalf of Tennesseans,” Governor Lee said.
Governor Lee spoke individually with all the families of the dead, offering prayers and condolences.
“We hope what is being done today is an expression of deep honor. We pay tribute to our fallen police officers. We honor them. We remember them. We remember them. And we hope that today today is part of a healing process for you,” Governor Lee said.
The memorial was established in 2000 and names have been added each year, including Jayden Wilkes, whose mother, Rosemary, died in the line of duty when he was five. She was a deputy in the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
“She was a good mom. She was really nice and sweet. Strict at times, but nice. And I really loved her,” Wilkes said.
At Tuesday’s ceremony, guests also observed a minute’s silence to honor police K9s who died on the job.
The following names were added to the memorial this year:
- Danny Laughner Jr – DHS Chattanooga
- Toby Keiser – Knox Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Kenny Gibbons – Dyer Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Willie Lois Dortch – Shelby Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Christopher Scott Triplett – Memphis Police Department
- Ray McCrary Jr – Shelby Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Roger Mitchell – Sullivan Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Lakiesha Tucker – Shelby Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Derek Sidwell – Overton Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Edgar Morris III – Collierville Police Department
- Joshua Hayes – Gibson Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Jimmie Shindler – Memphis Police Department
- David Miller – Clarksville Police Department
- Joshua Stewart – Sullivan Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Teresa Fuller – Wilson Co. Sheriff’s Office
- Darrell Adams – Memphis Police Department
- Vassar Richmond – Bartlett Police Department
- Michael Garbo – DEA Nashville
- Michael Hill – Memphis Police Department
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