The sacred voice of a bugle in “Taps” — crisp, light, like the afternoon breeze — rose and fell on the ears of those standing at the corner of Avenue A and West Oak Street in Palestine Thursday, the site of the local peace officers' memorial.
“Today we are here to honor those who paid the ultimate price to protect us from the evils of society,” Sheriff Greg Taylor said, referencing the memorial.
“We want to remember the eight brave officers that are on our wall: John Rogers, deputy sheriff, 1883; James Stafford, deputy sheriff, 1899; Dave Pierce, constable, 1908; Floyd Cox, constable, 1930; James Glover Long, constable, 1935; Alvey Farris, constable, 1945; Gus Engeling, game warden, 1958; and Darrell Honea, deputy sheriff, 1985.”
The names were those of local officers, honored for Peace Officers Memorial Day in a ceremony hosted by the Anderson County Sheriff's Office. The annual event affords members of the public and of local law enforcement an opportunity to pay respects to those who have lost their lives while defending truth and justice — as well as those men and women still serving in the line of duty, who continue to put their lives on the line on a daily basis.
This year's ceremony included a welcome from Taylor, with Anderson County Court At-Law Judge Jeff Doran serving as guest speaker.
Doran spoke of an Anderson County rich in love, life and history, where people have grown up, gone to school, worked and raised their families.
“But there is another darker side to our community, and every other community in America; it is a world at war, it is a world of the night, under a cover of darkness,” he said. “It is a world without rules, without respect, and without appreciation for the beauty that is life. It is a world where no one is safe.”