Emotional memorial honors fallen officers

(WMC-TV) - Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant was in Hernando Friday to speak at DeSoto County's annual ceremony to honor fallen officers.

There was an outpouring of support and emotion as the families of eight fallen DeSoto County officers listened to the Governor's speech.

With the recent death of Pearl Police Officer Michael Walter fresh on everyone's mind, it serves as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that men and women can pay to keep strangers safe.

A bell rung and a dove flew at the ceremony for every DeSoto County Officer who have given their lives for public safety since 1912.

"It is an opportunity to say thank you to the families to those who have placed such a high cost upion the alter of freedom," said Governor Phil Braynt.

Family members of the fallen were given a plaque to honor their loved ones sacrifice.

It will never bring them back, but it is support like this that has inspired Danielle Medlen, who lost her father when she was 7 years old.

"I am proud of him, I want to be a cop now because of him and I'm glad people appreciate him," Medlen said.

As the large crowd remembered the eight who fell, eight college students were given an opportunity.

"This scholarship has made it possible for me to attend Northwest Mississippi Community College and for that privilege, I am grateful," said student Ryan Minks.

Applause and salutes closed the ceremony on what was today, hallowed ground.

"This pain is fresh to a lot of us and I wanted to make sure that people understood the sacrifice of these first responders," Governor Bryant said.

After everyone was gone, only a statue remained with the fallen heroes' names.  And officers hope in this community that no more names will be added to the list.

"Those officers will continue, they will get another call this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow, and they will respond, and if necessary lay down their life for people they do not know or perhaps never met," Bryant said.

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