Members of the Wilmington Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff's Office and State Troopers came together Thursday to honor fellow law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
The names of the 12 officers and deputies etched in stone on the memorial outside of the Wilmington Police Department were read out loud and a rose was placed in a wreath in memory of each person killed while serving.
One of those names: Deputy John Bell. His great-grandson Reid Larson said Bell was killed in 1926 while raiding a liquor still located off what is now Shipyard Blvd.
"As he was sneaking up on the liquor still they saw him and shot him with a shotgun in the face," said Larson. "They just left him in the woods."
Thursday, Larson carried a rose in honor of his great-grandfather Deputy Bell, someone who meant the world to his father. Since his dad passed away last year, Larson wanted to carry the rose for his father and the man who meant so much to him.
Thursday, was not just about honoring officers killed while serving. It was also about thanking those who continue to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations every day.
"I can't help but think about some of our own," said Sheriff Ed McMahon during the ceremony. "In recent days some of our own have been shot at and shot."
He said because of recent violence and a shooting last year that injured a New Hanover County Detective, this year's memorial was especially meaningful.
"We've had a lot of violence and we've had officers that have been shot at and shot," said McMahon. "So, this was very sobering for me."
Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.
322 Shipyard Boulevard