Sheriff Sandra Hutchens recounts the dedication of the new Orange County Peace Officers' Memorial.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, the Orange County Law Enforcement community came together at the new Peace Officers’ Memorial, located at the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy. Each of us, along with the friends, families and residents of Orange County, took this time to remember the peace officers who gave their lives in service to their communities. We gathered on that day to honor these peace officers but also to demonstrate to the families once again that their loved ones will never be forgotten. As mentioned by keynote speaker California Attorney General Kamala Harris, these peace officers have left behind many fond memories of their public service but most importantly the memories of their relentless commitment to their families, loved ones and friends.
At the closing of the Peace Officers’ Memorial service, families and friends slowly walked to the memorial and gathered around the bronze plaques to pay their respect. I joined them, and each of them shared their gratitude and appreciation of the new Peace Officers’ Memorial. They appreciated the soothing sound of the water fountain and the intimacy the memorial provided them. Family members were also very grateful that they could touch the faces of their loved ones engraved on the bronze plaques. As I walked among the crowd gathered at the memorial, many expressed their praise for the memorial and the beauty and strength it represented to them.
I shared with each of them that this new Orange County Peace Officers’ Memorial was only possible through the relentless dedication and leadership of Marilyn MacDougall, the Executive Director of our Drug Use is Life Abuse program. Marilyn, fondly referred to as “Mom”, committed over eleven years to the creation of the memorial. She worked with the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council and the members of the Peace Officers’ Memorial committee to make this memorial a reality. I extend my most sincere thank you to Marilyn MacDougall, the Sheriff’s Advisory Council, and retired Assistant Sheriff Pete Gannon for their commitment to the relocation, completion and the ongoing fundraising efforts to finance the project. I also want to extend my thanks to the city of Santa Ana for graciously serving as the home of the Orange County Peace Officers’ Memorial for so many years.
We will never forget our fellow law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice and we will keep their loved ones forever in our thoughts and prayers.
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