ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OKLAHOMA
Thank you, Keith, for that kind introduction.
I appreciate your many years of service and leadership as the president of the State Trooper’s association, and for all of your colleagues, who have worked so hard to make this event happen every year.
I am honored and humbled to be with you all for today’s solemn service as we pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep Oklahomans and their families safe.
This year, as we are add six names to the wall, we must also pay tribute to the more than 800 who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Many of the names already on the wall are long past, some even before statehood.
Finding and uncovering those names and their heroic stories so they will never be forgotten is a tribute to the members of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial. Because of your efforts, you have ensured the legacies of these men and women will live on forever.
It is also fitting that on this 50th anniversary, we recognize those who helped raise money for this beautiful new memorial, as well as the supporters and donors, who graciously gave and fundraised to help erect the new grounds.
I am proud to say Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to have such a sacred space. And I am even more proud of the efforts to restore it to pay proper tribute to those who have died for the safety of our state and communities.
No matter what we say or do here today will ever truly be enough to properly recognize these brave men and women who gave everything.
But we must continue to come together – to grieve, to comfort one another, pay our respect to the fallen and also pause and give respect to the current men and women in uniform.
Different than most careers, those who choose a life in law enforcement know fully that they too might one day be called upon to lay down their lives for their fellow Oklahoman. There are few professions where you will deliberately and purposefully put yourself in danger for your fellow man.
To those currently serving, you have answered the call, you have accepted it, you have embraced it and that is why the service and sacrifice of law enforcement means so much.
The life for a law enforcement professional and their families is not an easy one. A heavy burden lays upon them.
To the family members of current law enforcement, may God continue blessing you.
To those families, friends and loved ones who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, while words will never be enough, you must know, our continued thoughts and prayers are with you. While you will always search for answers, I hope this memorial brings you comfort in knowing you and your loved one’s ultimate sacrifice is never, ever forgotten.
The six brave individual we are adding to the memorial:
- Officer Henry Cotton – Perkins Police Department
- Corporal Stephen Jenkins, Jr. – Oklahoma Department of Corrections
- Deputy Sheriff Sean Cookson – Craig County Sheriff’s Office
- Officer Justin Terney – Tecumseh Police Department
- Deputy Sheriff David Wade – Logan County Sheriff’s Office
- Lieutenant Heath Meyer – Oklahoma Highway Patrol
They are the embodiment of heroes. They join their brothers and sisters on the wall and their legacies will live on.
As Oklahomans, we can never repay the debts we owe our currently serving and fallen officers and their families. That is why we must continue to do our part by respecting, supporting and carry on their legacies.
We must work with them to create safer communities. Work with our neighbors to look out for one another and do all we can to prevent adding another name to the wall.
As your attorney general, I am proud to stand on the front lines in supporting our law enforcement personnel and their families, now and as long as I hold this office.
I will continue using my office to push for more resources and tools for law enforcement professionals so they can do their jobs safely and effectively. My office is committed to supporting your work and we will always honor those who wear the badge.
Thank you all again for being here. May God continue blessing each one of you, as well as the memories of our lost heroes.
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