News: Community law enforcement honors fallen heroes
Story by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - The local law enforcement community honored the sacrifice of seven North Carolina law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2011 with a ceremony at the Officer Down Memorial here, May 15.
A formation of military and civilian law enforcement officers read the names of the seven dead, an officer played taps on a saxophone as they lowered the flag, and all present in uniform saluted. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune each showed support for the local law enforcement community with two representatives each from their respective Provost Marshal Offices.
President John F. Kennedy established Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962 to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by local, state and federal law enforcement officials.
Maj. Terrence E. Fox, Cherry Point provost marshal, said the sacrifice of police officers is just as great as those of Marines. Both put their lives on the line for the good of society.
Marine and civilian police officers work together to ensure the safety of both communities, Fox said. Cherry Point PMO works closely with many Eastern North Carolina police agencies, especially the Havelock Police which shares a strong and mutually beneficial relationship that enhances the security of both communities.
Staff Sgt. Steven J. Matulevich, a provost marshal's office platoon sergeant, said many Havelock citizens work aboard Cherry Point and are directly affected by the hand-in-hand relationship between the two agencies.
Fox, a former state trooper, said service in civilian law enforcement is similar to military service. It is not a forced commitment, which is what makes the sacrifice important to remember.
"It's very rewarding," said Fox. "It's service to mankind."