Florida Sheriffs Association Honors Fallen Deputies at Ceremony
Tallahassee, FL (May 2, 2016) – Today, the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) honored all of the deputies and officers who gave their lives in service of the law and to the state of Florida. At the ceremony, three names were added to the FSA Memorial Wall. FSA President Sheriff Sadie Darnell and Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley joined Sheriffs from across the state at the FSA Memorial Wall to celebrate the lives of the men and women who died while serving their communities.
Each year, the first Monday of May is dedicated to remembering both those who put their lives on the line every day and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. This solemn event allows families, friends, and brothers-in-arms to pay tribute to their loved ones and see their names etched into history on the Memorial Wall.
“It is truly an honor to serve beside so many brave men and women,” said FSA President and Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell. “The loss of a fellow deputy, no matter where it happens, affects us all; we each share that pain.”
Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley was the keynote speaker, honoring the life of one of his own deputies. “The dedication to law enforcement by every person whose name is on this wall is unparalleled,” said Sheriff Ashley. “To die in the line of duty is the greatest sacrifice, and this memorial ensures that their memories will live on in the hearts and prayers of their family, friends, brothers, and sisters.”
This afternoon, three names were honored at FSA Memorial ceremony:
- Okaloosa County Sheriff's Deputy Sheriff William J. Myers | End of Watch: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 | Cause of Death: Gunfire
- Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bart Broxson | End of Watch: December 24, 1959 | Cause of Death: Auto accident
- St. Lucie County Deputy Soren Sorensen | End of Watch: March 20, 1935 | Cause of Death: Motorcycle accident
The hundreds in attendance paid a special tribute to those who lost their lives in the line of duty with a moment of silence as a riderless horse was led across the memorial.
The Florida Sheriffs Association established the granite Memorial Wall in 2002 to honor all the heroes of sheriffs' offices killed in the line of duty. Each day that our sheriffs and deputies dedicate themselves to protecting Floridians is a day for us to remember those who have passed. Engraved on the wall is a verse that encompasses the feeling of sacrifice made by these fallen heroes: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” John 15:13.
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The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of Florida’s Sheriffs, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has quietly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law-enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA both established and continues to fund the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. The Florida Sheriffs Association has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit www.flsheriffs.org.