Saluting Those Who made the Ultimate Sacrifice
May 4, 2012
Memorial Service Photo Gallery
Words from Chief Jane Castor
There is a saying that easily defines our ceremony this evening.
ALL GAVE SOME. OTHERS GAVE ALL.
I want to welcome each of you to the Annual Tampa Police
Department's Memorial Ceremony, and thank you for attending this,
our first evening service. A service dedicated to remembering and
honoring those officers whose names have been etched upon our
monument, those officers who gave all. We also gather this evening
to express our gratitude and continued support to their families for
the sacrifices made.
I want to thank City Council Members, distinguished guests, and
fellow law enforcement officers for attending this evening.
At this time it is my honor to introduce our leader. A man who knows policing from the inside out. A member of the Tampa Police Department and a true friend Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
The month of May has been designated as a time to honor law
enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. There will
be ceremonies and candle light vigils in communities throughout our
nation and even in the nation's capitol. Officers, families and
citizens will come together. Colors will be posted, speeches will be
made, bag pipes will be played, a riderless horse will march. There
will be fly overs and 21 gun salutes. And the poignant sounds of
Amazing Grace will float through the air. All in honor of those lost
in the line of duty.
There will be an unprecedented number of services in honor of those
who died in 2011, as it was one of the deadliest years in recent
history for law enforcement. We consider ourselves blessed, as there
have been no new names etched upon our monument. That does not mean
we have been without loss through the year. And it does not soften
the pain of past loss.
In our unique and personal ceremony we honor the 31 brave men and
women who have lost their lives serving the citizens of Tampa. John
15:13 says No greater love than this to lay down one's own life for
one's friends. When we grasp for some logic or reasoning behind the
loss of these 31 heroes, our friends and loved ones, it may be this
passage that brings some comfort.
The reason for these formal services, so steeped in tradition, is
found in the saying Let Them Never Be Forgotten. This memorial
service may seem insignificant, in comparison to the ultimate
sacrifice each of these men and women have made. It will however,
always be of great importance to us. To gather the survivors -
family, fellow law enforcement and community - to publicly and
collectively assuage our losses and express our perpetual gratitude
to the guardians of law and order too soon departed.
As I look out over the audience I see so many of you, wearing a
badge or a star, who display the same courage and commitment that
each of these officers did, going to work every day, never imagining
that it may be your last. Each of us wants to believe that through
hard work, vigilance and shear faith, we can prevent that which
seems inevitable in this profession - another name being added to
the memorial. I remind all in uniform to remain ever vigilant and
never forget to watch out for each other.
To our community, I say thank you on behalf of all the men in women
in uniform. You stand by our side in support, through the good times
and bad. We can never adequately express our gratitude for all that
you do. It is for your protection that we exist. One of the reasons
Tampa is such a great city is because of the strong bond between law
enforcement and the community.
To the families of our heroes - the day your loved one became a law
enforcement officer, you placed them on loan to the citizens of
Tampa. You also became a part of a larger family, the Tampa Police
Department. As a family, we seek that which does not exist, the
words that will diminish the pain and provide refuge from the
devastation of your loss.
There will never be a sufficient expression of gratitude, sorrow or
comfort. We do pledge that each year on this day we will gather to
honor and pay tribute to your loved one, ensuring that their legacy
lives on. As always we give you our appreciation, unending support
and recognition of the sacrifice that you have made.
As each of you leave this service please take pause and pay tribute
to those heroes whose names adorn our memorial. Their names are not
only etched in granite, they are etched in our hearts and minds