In a ceremony including representatives of nearly every law enforcement agency in South Mississippi, the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer sponsored one final appreciation ceremony as a fitting close to the 2005 Law Enforcement Appreciation Week.
"We get a speeding ticket and we feel angry, that's it's the police fault that our foot was on the pedal, says Rev. Harold Roberts, pastor of Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi. "But we also get them to come around when the alarm goes off at the church. They're here, right off the bat. We want them to know the community loves and appreciated what they do for us."
Representatives of each department were invited to light candles in the Bell towers Police memorial, in honor of their fallen comrades.
Prayers for protection were recited for the men in women who honor their ultimate sacrifice in their daily duties behind the badge.
"Keep us careful and vigilant in our ways," prayed Johnny Poulos with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
All, small reminders of the enormous challenges law enforcement officials face every day.
Challenges that are appreciated and respected by those they protect and serve.
"If you are married you can never tell your spouse enough, you love her," says rev. Roberts. "We can never tell our police enough they're appreciated. They are getting the message and they're coming out, and we appreciate that, but the main message is to them our gratitude. We are certainly supportive of them and they need to know about it."