Justice Sharon L. Kennedy
Montgomery County 11th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony
May 5, 2017

Thank you Mark for that kind introduction and for participating in this observance.

I would be remiss if I also did not take this opportunity to recognize Kurt Althouse, President of the Montgomery County Peace Officers Memorial Association and the committee.

Although he could not be with us today, I know that he is with us in spirit, and we appreciate all of his efforts and those of the committee members who have made this ceremony possible.

I am deeply humbled to stand with all of you in observance of honoring those who, in the words of President Lincoln, “gave the last full measure of devotion.”  It is truly my privilege.

Law enforcement officers accept with fullness of heart that they are called to serve a noble profession with honor and unwavering commitment.

Knowing that the world they face presents ever changing threats and instability, they face it anyway, unburdened by the knowledge that theirs is one of a very few professions where they will be called upon to make split second decisions and life will hang in the balance.

A service that is answered at a cost and will require great perseverance and honor to fulfill it.

Service that requires inevitable sacrifice.  Where “all [give] some. [And] some [give] all.”

Today, across America, we come together as one people to honor the brave men and women who served on the frontlines of our communities and made the ultimate sacrifice.

To recognize their extraordinary achievements, to thank them for their valiant service, and to pay our lasting tribute and respect for those who, in service above self, died in the line of duty.

While we are fortunate that we do not carve a new name in monument, let us “never forget” the names and the sacrifice of the fallen already inscribed.

Thirty-eight men and women who answered a call to duty and service with unwavering commitment to protect us and our community with full knowledge that each day brought danger to them as they willingly placed the safety of others first and themselves in harm’s way.

Beyond this place we recognize our law enforcement family and mourn with them in the loss of five Ohio brothers and one-hundred and thirty-nine other brothers and sisters who, from across this nation, were taken too soon.

We are forever grateful for their call to service and share in their loss with their families, spouses and children.

Mindful that the burden of our shared loss is never equal, we pray for the families, spouses and children in the words of President George Bush, “that God will comfort you with a hope deeper than sorrow and stronger than death.”

Today we rededicate ourselves to the memory of all of the fallen and the thin blue line.

As you leave here today I call on you to “ready yourself.”

To go forth and speak the names of those who have given all so that they and their sacrifice is known; To lift all of the fallen in your heart and mind so they are “never forgotten”; and To those who share the oath, the uniform, and the commitment of protection and service — of service above self in a profession for which they sacrificed so much, so fully — to go forth from this place of observance and honor them by continued acts of noble service worthy of them.

And, until we meet again, may God bless each and every one of you.