Law-enforcement officers from the Ludowici Police Department and the Long County Sheriff’s Office recently got together to remember fellow peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
The gathering was May
14 at Ludowici City Hall to commemorate Peace Officer Memorial Day. In addition, on May 15, U.S. flags throughout the community were flown at half-staff to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“There are only two days when the United States flag is required by law to be flown at half-mast. Those days are Memorial Day from dawn until noon and all day on Peace Officers Memorial Day,” Long County Sheriff Craig Nobles said.
LPD Chief Robert Poppell, who organized the gathering, welcomed about 40 fellow public servants from the Georgia State Patrol, the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, the Ludowici/Long County Fire Department and the LCSO.
“We come together each May to remember those who have fallen because heroes never die, and that is what each and every one of our fallen brothers and sisters are — heroes,” Poppell said.
Poppell said that in the U.S., there have been more than 20,000 deaths of peace officers while in the line of duty; in Georgia alone, there have been 677. He said that this year, there were 44 recorded deaths nationwide between January and May.
“A police officer puts others’ needs and safety before their own. No second chances, no room for mistakes, sacrificing their lives day after day, but they do it anyway … it’s not how these officers died that made them heroes, but it’s how they lived,” he said.
After everyone recognized those who had fallen, the public servants enjoyed a meal together.
Ludowici City Councilman Jim Fuller attended the ceremony and spoke on the pride he has for those local officers who serve Ludowici and Long County.
“I just want all of you to know that I personally appreciate what you do,” he said. “Also, on behalf of the City Council and the mayor, I want to thank you. I can’t imagine what we would do if we didn’t have all of you and all of the other first responders who are out there.”