The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the Memphis Medical District community today gathered for a memorial program to honor and pay respects to law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.
The second-annual Police Memorial Program was held at the Student-Alumni Center as part of UTHSC Campus Police’s observance of National Police Week. The presentation of colors was done by Booker T. Washington High School Color Guard and the National Anthem was sung by student Britney Patton.
UTHSC’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer Ken Brown welcomed the crowd, which included faculty and staff, as well as representatives from the Memphis Police Department, Southwest Tennessee Community College, and other institutions.
“What you do is a very, very difficult job,” Dr. Brown said. “The only reason the rest of us, who are not police, in this room are here is because of what you do. On behalf of everyone in this room, I want to say thank you for everything you do and for the sacrifice you show up every day prepared to make.”
The memorial program paid tribute to 49 fallen campus law enforcement officers across the country, and honored officers who serve the UTHSC campus and surrounding Memphis Medical District. Though Tennessee has never lost a campus police officer, the names of each fallen officer from campuses across the country were read and a bell was rung for each name. A moment of silence was observed to end the roll-call tribute.
“Today, we gather to honor the memory of men and women from across law enforcement who dedicated their lives to serving and protecting our nation,” UTHSC Campus Police Chief Anthony Berryhill said. “Every day across America, brave men and women put on their uniforms and report for duty with the knowledge that someday, perhaps this day, they may have to pay the ultimate price for the job they have sworn an oath to do. We are here today to honor those officers and their family members who have been confronted with this painful reality, yet did not shrink from their duty. They lived to make a difference in the world. Moreover, they died as they lived – defending freedom, safeguarding peace, preserving justice.”
The program closed with the ceremonial placement of a memorial wreath by Chief Berryhill and Deputy Chief Arley Knight to honor all law enforcement officers across the country, who have sacrificed their lives to protect and serve.
Chief Berryhill charged those in attendance, “to rededicate ourselves to their high ideals and devotion” and to “live out their legacy of courage, sacrifice, service, fidelity, bravery, and integrity.”