Jackson County's fallen officers honored for service, sacrifice - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson County's fallen officers honored for service, sacrifice

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Police officers put their lives on the line every day when they go to work. In honor of National Police Week, Jackson County law enforcement agencies paid tribute to fellow officers who died while keeping our streets safe.

Prayers went up Wednesday to honor fallen police officers at Serene Memorial Garden Cemetery in Moss Point. While some family members and friends bowed their heads, others just hugged and cried. 

"We loved them and we respect them," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said. 

Wednesday's ceremony brought back sad memories for Byrd and his wife. Their only son, Pascagoula Police Officer Terry Michael Byrd, died in a motorcycle accident in 2006. 

"It is heartbreaking, but it is one of those things. Law enforcers, they do this because it is a calling."

Mother Malta Lee agrees. She said her son, the late Moss Point Officer Larry Lee, knew he was going to be police officer as a teen. 

"He loved his job," Lee said. 

After protecting others for 14 years, he was killed while on duty in 2002. 

"Larry was called for backup. Larry was going north and the guy hit Larry at 80 miles an hour. It has been one of the hardest things." 

Byrd and Lee said they want people to realize that police officers play a vital role in the safety and security of communities. They also feel officers should be honored more often. 

"When we close our eyes and go to sleep, their minds are going," Lee said. 

"It is very important we remember the sacrifices they made," Byrd said. 

The family members said laying flowers on the graves and reflecting on good times are ways to thank the police officers who gave so much. 

"They will never be forgotten."

A section of Highway 63 in Jackson County was also dedicated to Officer Lee last year

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