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Springfield Honors Fallen at Peace Officers Memorial

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says our rights depend on the peace, order and stability that the rule of law brings. His words came during the 2017 Southwest Missouri Peace Officers Memorial Service Thursday in Springfield.

Josh Hawley
Credit Scott Harvey / KSMU
Hawley meeting with officers after the ceremony.

“The Bill of Rights; which I believe in deeply, and I know you do too, is nothing more than words on a piece of paper without the rule of law,” says Hawley.

He spoke before some 100 local law enforcement personnel and citizens at First & Calvary Presbyterian Church.

“Our rights and liberties, our whole way of life, depend on the courage of the men and women who wear blue. The men and women who are sitting before me today; the men and women that we honor.”

One by one, the names of all 144 United States law enforcement officials that had fallen in the line of duty this past year were read. Two of those officers are from Missouri. They are Deputy Sheriff Paul Allen Clark, St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office, and Police Officer Blake Curtis Snyder of the St. Louis County Police Department.

Credit Scott Harvey / KSMu
Springfield Firefighter (Left) Andy Mariage delivered Taps Thursday, alongside Lt. Daniel Zacher, who played Amazing Grace on bagpipe.

In opening remarks, Rev. Robert Stephenson with the Springfield Police Chaplains Association said last year an especially difficult year.   

“As the law enforcement community watched as its very own were targeted. Today, we give honor and tribute to those who laid down their lives,” said Stephenson.

To conclude the ceremony, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard provided a gun salute on the front steps of the church, followed by taps from Springfield Firefighter Andy Mariage.