Friday, May 8, 2009
Above: First Husband Mike Gregoire wipes a tear away after the singing of the National Anthem by Rio Barber, surviving sister of fallen officer Joselito Barber at a ceremony today honoring Washington State's fallen officers.
by Janine Gates
Six Washington state officers were awarded the Medal of Honor today in a ceremony held at the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial on the Capitol Campus. The ceremony also honored three officers who died in 2008. More than 283 Washington law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1854.
Fallen officers Sargent Nelson Ng, Ellensburg Police Department, Deputy Anne Marie Jackson, Skagit County Sheriff's Office, and Officer Kristine Fairbanks, U.S. Forest Service, were recognized by their families and officers who came from around the state to participate in the ceremony.
Above: A photo of U.S. Forest Service Officer Kristine Fairbanks. Fairbanks was shot and killed September 20, 2008 while investigating a suspicious vehicle on the Olympic Pennisula.
Governor Christine Gregoire read a proclamation recognizing May 10 - 16 as Law Enforcement Recognition Week, saying, "the law enforcement profession has become increasingly more complex, posing greater challenges and requiring officers to serve additional hours above and beyond their regular duties...."
The Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial was created with private funds in cooperation with the state as a sacred place specifically chosen for its beauty and tranquility, located behind the Temple of Justice, overlooking Budd Inlet. An effort many years in the making, the memorial was dedicated in 2006. The names of the fallen officers are etched in granite.
Above: The newly etched names of Ng, Jackson, and Fairbanks at the memorial.
Above: Elise Ng, 7, makes a rubbing of her father's name on the memorial after the ceremony at the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial in Olympia today. Her father, Sgt. Nelson Ng, died at age 34 on August 11, 2008 of a duty-related illness. Ng had been named officer of the year for the Ellensburg Police Department in 2007.