Fallen He­roes Day to honor po­lice, fire­fight­ers

Record Observer - - News -

TI­MO­NIUM — On Fri­day, May 6, 2016, hun­dreds of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers and fire­fight­ers, dig­ni­taries and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, fam­ily, and friends will gather at Du­laney Val­ley Memo­rial Gar­dens for the 31st an­nual Fallen He­roes Day, a day se­ta­side to honor and re­mem­ber those who died in the line of duty. More than 2000 at­ten­dees are ex­pected in­clud­ing sur­vivor fam­i­lies, friends, and lead­ers of the pub­lic safety com­mu­nity. The cer­e­mony is open to the pub­lic.

Keep­ing with tra­di­tion, Gov. Larry Ho­gan has is­sued a procla­ma­tion declar­ing May 6, 2016, as Fallen He­roes Day in Mary­land and has or­dered flags flown at half-staff at the State House and all state fa­cil­i­ties.

The cer­e­mony, which hon­ors those whose deaths have been de­clared “line of duty” dur­ing the past year, is the only statewide cer­e­mony in the na­tion that brings to­gether all seg­ments of the pub­lic safety com­mu­nity, will be­gin at 1 p.m. with a pro­ces­sion of more than 25 honor guard units from across the state, po­lice mo­tor­cy­cle and mounted units, bag­pipers and drum­mers. Gov­er­nor Larry Ho­gan, Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz, Har­ford County Ex­ec­u­tive Barry Glass­man and Mont­gomery County Ex­ec­u­tive Ike Leggett will give memo­rial ad­dresses.

Since the 2015 Fallen He­roes Day cer­e­mony, four po­lice of­fi­cers have died in the line of duty. They are:

• Po­lice Of­fi­cer III Noah Leotta, Mont­gomery County Po­lice De­part­ment, De­cem­ber 10, 2015

• Se­nior Deputy Pa­trick Dai­ley, Har­ford County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, Fe­bru­ary 10, 2016

• Deputy First Class Mark Logs­don, Har­ford County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, Fe­bru­ary 10, 2016

• De­tec­tive Ja­cai Col­son, Prince Ge­orge’s County Po­lice De­part­ment, March 13, 2016

Prince Ge­orge’s County firefighter-para­medic John Ulm­schnei­der, who died in the line of duty on April 15, 2016, will be rec­og­nized at this year’s Fallen He­roes Day cer­e­mony, but will be honored at the 2017 cer­e­mony.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, after each 2016 fallen hero is re­mem­bered, his fam­ily will be pre­sented with a replica of the Fallen He­roes Memo­rial and a res­o­lu­tion from the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly. Ad­di­tion­ally, one po­lice of­fi­cer and one firefighter who died in the line of duty be­fore Fallen He­roes Day was es­tab­lished in 1986, will be re­mem­bered and their fam­ily will be pre­sented with a Gov­er­nor’s Procla­ma­tion.

Fol­low­ing memo­rial ad­dresses, there will be a pre­sen­ta­tion to the fam­i­lies of the fallen, and a wreath lay­ing at the Fallen He­roes Memo­rial.

In 2001, Deputy Sher­iff Ja­son C. Sch­wenz, who was serv­ing with the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s of­fice and died on Feb. 13, 2001, and Po­lice Of­fice Michael Nick­er­son of the Cen­tre­ville Po­lice De­part­ment, who was also shot and killed while re­spond­ing to the same noise com­plaint, were honored at the Fallen He­roes Cer­e­mony at Du­laney Val­ley Memo­rial Gar­dens.

Nick­er­son’s mother, Sue, a sur­vivor her­self, is Pres­i­dent of the Mary­land Chap­ter of COPS (Con­cerns of Po­lice Sur­vivors). The Mary­land Chap­ter of Con­cerns of Po­lice Sur­vivors is a statewide non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing pro­grams and ser­vices for the sur­vivors of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers killed in the line of duty in the state of Mary­land ac­cord­ing to Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ment cri­te­ria.

Nick­er­son said their mis­sion is to help re­build shat­tered lives of sur­vivors and co-work­ers af­fected by line of duty deaths through fi­nan­cial and emo­tional sup­port.

“It takes a spe­cial kind of per­son in this day and age to go into a ca­reer in law en­force­ment or emer­gency ser­vices,” Nick­er­son said. “We are very thank­ful that in the state of Mary­land we have men and women who con­tinue to serve.”

“For more than 30 years, Du­laney Val­ley Memo­rial Gar­dens has honored Mary­land’s fallen he­roes — pub­lic ser­vants who have given their lives in the line of duty,” said John O. Mitchell III, Chair­man of Du­laney Val­ley Memo­rial Gar­dens. “Fallen He­roes Day pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for the cit­i­zens of Mary­land to take time to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion and re­spect for the men and women who risk their lives each day when they re­port to work.”

Du­laney Val­ley Memo­rial Gar­dens was es­tab­lished in 1958 by John Ar­miger Sr. In 1976 he set aside 330 burial spa­ces for fallen he­roes and their spouses. Ten years later, John Ar­miger Jr. es­tab­lished the tra­di­tion of Fallen He­roes Day. The 70-acre ceme­tery was pur­chased by John O. Mitchell III of the fam­ily-owned Mitchell-Wiede­feld Funeral Home in Rodgers Forge/Tow­son, MD in 2007. The Mitchell fam­ily is proud to con­tinue the tra­di­tion of Fallen He­roes Day. Cur­rently, 69 mem­bers of the pub­lic safety com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing Har­ford County Deputy Mark Logs­don, are buried at the Fallen He­roes Memo­rial.

The Fallen He­roes Memo­rial is lo­cated within Du­laney Val­ley Memo­rial Gar­dens, 200 East Pado­nia Road, Ti­mo­nium. The ob­ser­vance is free and open to the pub­lic.

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