FAYETTEVILLE – Fallen police heroes are honored in Fayette County Thursday afternoon at a somber ceremony.
Read aloud were the 199 names, honoring heroes lost in the line of duty in West Virginia.
"They are the first ones to run directly into danger when others are running away,” says Lt. Shannon Prince of the Oak Hill Police Dept.
Libby Campbell has a son who is a Sergeant with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Dept.
"You know it's really hard as a mom to sit there are listen to all the names be called off."
Susie Smith lost her son Charles in 2006 when he was fatally wounded during an undercover operation in Beckley.
"He loved his job, loved what he did. He started out as patrol officer and quickly moved to the drug department and became a detective there. That was his passion,” says Smith, fighting back tears.
Oak Hill Police Chief, Michael Whisman participated in the roll call of the names of fallen officers.
"(It) makes it surreal that you're up there reading those names, looking at each and every one of them, the dates that they've passed away."
Whisman adds that a memorial like this is important for police officers to remember not to take anything for granted.
Smith echoes that the memorial is a great reminder for those still living.
"Of course we want to remember the fallen, but honor and respect the ones that are still here"
Taking extra care is a message Whisman hopes his brothers take away, “Hopefully they can be more careful, protect themselves a bit better so they can get home to their families in the evening.”
“They don't know if they're going to come home,” says Campbell, “And the only reason they're out there on the road is for our protection.”
Prince closes his speech assuring friends and family in the audience, their loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice of life and for that reason, their spirit will always live on.
"Their legacy, their story, will not be forgotten."