Sullivan County officers bow their heads during a ceremony in Blountville Friday. David Grace photo.
A 21-gun salute, followed by the solemn playing of taps, echoed through Blountville Monday morning as the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office remembered its fallen brothers.
Outside the Sheriff's Office, before a memorial engraved with the names of nine officers, law enforcement and guest speakers offered thanks and remembrance for those who died in the line of duty. More than a dozen family members of fallen officers were in attendance, receiving shells that were fired and a picture of the memorial.
"As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in knowing they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought each of you to the badge you wear today," said speaker Dr. Phil Hoskins, senior pastor of Higher Ground Baptist Church in Kingsport.
"This morning may we not dwell on what we have lost, but may we dwell on what these fallen officers have gained; an exchange of pain for peace, and even the very presence of God."
Holding back tears, SCSO Chief Deputy Lisa Christian read the names of officers being remembered, with each being killed between 1907 and 2001. A family member or officer representing each of the deceased then received a rose that they placed on the memorial.
Lt. B.J. Richardson also read a poem he had written for the service, entitled, 'I Gave My All." An excerpt reads:
My brothers in arms will carry on the fight,
To enforce the laws and change wrong to right.
Don't cry for me just let it be known,
That this proud officer has made it home.
Sullivan County officers that lost their lives in the line of duty are: Special Deputy Lee Eldreth, Dec. 25, 1907; Deputy Hubert Webb, April 13, 1925; Constable Bruce Barker, May 30, 1938; Sgt. Arthur Lane, March 30, 1981; Deputy Glayton Parker, May 31, 1990; Sgt. Roscoe Teague, May 30, 1995; Deputy Steve Mullins, Nov. 22, 1995; Deputy Steve Riner, Sept. 29, 2001; Deputy Barry Shelton, Sept, 29, 2001.
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