A memorial for all Washington state law enforcement killed in the line of duty was unveiled Thursday, May 28, at the headquarters of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Blaine Sector.
Surviving family of fallen police officers, chiefs of police from around the region, and dozens of federal border agents gathered Thursday, the week of Memorial Day, on a helipad outside the U.S. Border Patrol offices on Nature’s Path Way for the ceremony: the presentation of colors, a prayer from the county sheriff’s chaplain, “Amazing Grace” played by the Vancouver (B.C.) Police Department bagpipe band, a 21-gun salute, and a benediction.
Family of two law enforcement officers — David N. Webb, a U.S. border agent, and Joselito Barber, a Seattle police officer, both of whom were killed in car crashes while on duty in 2006 — spoke about the grief of losing their loved ones, and the importance of keeping their memory alive.
“As I stand here representing the families of these officers named on this wall, I’m reminded there are no words I can say to make up for the loss we all share,” said Barber’s father, Ernie Barber. “I’m only left with the comfort of knowing that these officers are at peace with honor, and we will never let them be forgotten.”
The event, closed to the general public, was largely put together by first-year Chief Patrol Agent Dan M. Harris Jr., a sixth-generation law enforcement officer whose great-grandfather, a Texas Ranger, was shot and killed in the line of duty.
“There are challenges for law enforcement right now around the nation,” Harris said, “and we want the public to know we won’t hesitate to lay down our lives for them.”
The memorial takes up a wall in the Blaine Sector’s headquarters, with patches and names from each police department, sheriff’s office or other law enforcement agency that has lost an officer.