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Memorial ceremony honors law enforcement officers

Washington County Honor Guard officers stand at the Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony last Wednesday in Stillwater. Staff photo by Riham Feshir1 / 4
Washington County deputies joined the ceremony last week. Staff photo by Riham Feshir2 / 4
Students from the Stillwater Area High School band performed music for the Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony last week.3 / 4
Honor Guard officers participate in the ceremony. Staff photo by Riham Feshir4 / 4

Law enforcement agencies held memorial ceremonies last week that will be followed by more commemoration this holiday weekend.

Washington County invited law enforcement officials from all across the region who joined Sheriff Bill Hutton to mark the 19th annual Washington County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on Wednesday, May 19. The event honored hundreds of fallen officers killed in the line of duty.

Hutton said 176 names were read at last year's ceremony. They were the names of police and community corrections officers killed nationwide in 2011.

"This was a significant increase and a frightening trend," he said. "One is too many."

The number dropped to 120 in 2012, however, it's still not low enough to meet the "below 100" goal.

The campaign aims to reduce that number drastically, Hutton said, and he hopes the trend continues to decline beyond that in the future.

"We want to change that below-100 (figure) to below 90, to below 80 to below 70," he said.

The event drew members of the public as well as county elected officials and staff.

Woodbury's law enforcement contingent was led by Public Safety Director Lee Vague. Men and women in uniform gathered in front of the steps of the Historic Courthouse as they prayed, listened to the names of those who died last year and saluted the flag.

Woodbury will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, May 27 at the Lions Veterans Memorial near City Hall.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.