BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - People all across the country are making a point to appreciate those who serve on the thin blue line as part of National Police Week. The Biloxi Police Department held its annual memorial ceremony Tuesday morning to remember fallen officers and show appreciation to their families.
The somber ceremony was surrounded by a steady drizzle. People from the community, city leaders, police officers, and family members gathered to remember four men who lost their lives serving the community.
"They gave their lives in the line of duty and you just don't want to forget that," said Mary Rogers.
For Rogers, it was her brother, Officer David Higginbotham who lost his life.
"I was a young teenager when my brother died and I can remember the camaraderie and we come back to celebrate with each other and with the police department," said Rogers.
According to Rogers, the department is almost like family and coming back always brings warmth to such a tragic memory.
Marc Meaut said as a police officer's son he knows how important it is for society and police to work hand in hand. "It takes a community to build a city and keep it running," said Meaut.
Meaut didn't go to his father's funeral. This was the first year he'd been to this annual memorial service. Coming back home and hearing the prayer his father, Lieutenant Michael Meaut, wrote brought him comfort.
"All the men and women here from the police department, FBI, military, they go out of their way not only to protect us every day but also to host these events for us so that we can remember our loved ones and they can be immortalized at the police department," said Meaut.
Police Chief John Miller and his department work hard to keep these memories immortalized. He said it's essential for the community to remember what the men and women in blue do every day to keep them safe.
"The last thing we want is for people to forget. They paid the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of our community and we want people to remember that," said Miller.
The four men honored at today's ceremony were Officer David Higginbotham, Officer Emery Wilson, Lieutenant Michael Meaut (Mayo), and Officer Nathan Mitchell.