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RCC hosts 29th Law Enforcement Memorial

Today, Robeson Community College and the Robeson County Executive Law Enforcement Officers Association paid tribute to officers that were killed in the line of duty in honor of National Police Week.

“Today is a reminder of those who were never afforded the opportunity to come home again. Their sacrifice is a true expression of selfless service,” said RCC President Melissa Singler. “Let us honor the memory of these heroes who are no longer with us and let us strive to live up to the example set by such selfless officers.”

The ceremony was held at 10:00 a.m. on the main campus of the college in Lumberton. The ceremony included many speakers, invocation by retired Chief Powell McDowell, presentation of colors by Sergeant Joe Oxendine, a rendition of the National Anthem by Deputy Eric Chavis with the Robeson Sheriff’s Office, TAPS by the Robeson County Sherriff’s office, as well as a 21-Gun Salute led by the Honor Guard.

“It don’t get any easier doing these,” said Bruce Meares, Association President during the ceremony.

Names of each officer killed in the line of duty from the region, dating as far back as the 1800s, were read in solemn, as families of those who lost loved ones listened quietly as they were seated nearby.

“Today is not about sadness to me, but of remembrance and reflection,” said guest speaker Colonel Freddy Johnson, Jr. with the NC State Highway Patrol. “Their ultimate sacrifice is something to hold in the highest regard. If we are not honoring their sacrifice through our collective commitment to serve our communities at the very highest level, we are all falling short of our obligation. Their willingness to go into harm’s way, such as our fallen did, it is a testament of the profession we are called into and the honorable work we all perform.”

Retired Chief John Reaves read the End of Watch Honoree, followed by the playing of bagpipes by Tobias Epps of the Lumberton Fire Department. Bruce Meares gave closing remarks and benediction was led by Chief McDowell.

The event was broadcast on Facebook Live by the RCC BLET Director, Rudy Locklear, and can be viewed at this link: https://tinyurl.com/RCC-Law-Enforcement-Memorial.

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