Fallen officers honored in George County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Fallen officers honored in George County


Two George County sheriffs have died in the line of duty; one in 1948, the other in 2010. Thursday, their sacrifice was honored at the dedication of a fallen officers memorial on the grounds of the county courthouse.

Sheriff Mike Byrd of Jackson County said it best. "We never ever forget the ones who put their lives on the line every day. No greater love can a man have than to lay down his life for his friend."  

With those words, Sheriffs John Nelson and Garry Welford were honored. Prayers were said, and tears were shed.  The words spoken were powerful and emotional. 

"I have the very good fortune of waking up every day and getting to work with the people you all see standing here," District Attorney Tony Lawrence said. "When they put on a badge, we remember the men and women who decide to serve and protect our community on a daily basis." 

The legacy left behind by the two sheriffs will always be remembered. Stacy Moore is a family friend.  

"Garry was a good man and every day he expected us to do our job as well as he did his job," Moore recalled.  "And never did he put us out in a situation that he would not have gone in that situation."  

Elaine Rogers is Garry Welford's niece.  "We don't realize what they are doing, the sacrifices they are making. Sometimes they don't even realize it," Rogers said.  

Kind words of praise were spoken about both the law officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. But one theme stood out above all others: The sacrifice and service of all law enforcement officers and how they need to be thanked. 

"Every day, our law enforcement officers get up in the morning to go out into our community to protect us with anticipation of coming home at night, not knowing if they will or they won't," Lucedale Mayor Doug Lee said.

One thing that will happen is these officers, and others who have died in the line of duty won't ever be forgotten.  

The memorial has been under construction for the past several months.  Funding for the monument came from several George County businesses, as well as individual donations.

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