Law enforcement memorial event set for TuesdayFor the first time ever, St. Croix County law enforcement agencies will be conducting a special ceremony to mark National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day.
By: By Jeff Holmquist, New Richmond News
For the first time ever, St. Croix County law enforcement agencies will be conducting a special ceremony to mark National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Day.
The event, slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, at the New Richmond High School auditorium, is open to the public and law enforcement officers from all across western Wisconsin.
The Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Ceremony will include a keynote address from Patience Roggensack, Wisconsin Supreme Court justice.
The evening will kick off with the posting of colors by an honor guard of five officers from various St. Croix County law enforcement agencies.
The New Richmond High School Chamber Music Ensemble will then perform the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful.” Taps will be played by NRHS band Director Matt Mealey.
Curt Thomassen, pastor of Cornerstone Assembly of God church, will offer the opening prayer. Kevin Morris, pastor of First Baptist Church in New Richmond, will offer the benediction.
Memorial wreaths will be presented as part of the ceremony, and a bagpiper will provide solemn music as the wreaths are laid. Then the names of 166 officers across the nation who died in the line of duty will be read outloud. The names of three St. Croix County officers who have died in the line of duty will also be read — Harold Harris, 1904, St. Croix County Sheriff’s office; Clarence Erickson, 1853, Hudson Police Department; and Lee Murphy, 1955, St. Croix County Highway Patrol.
New Richmond Police Chief Mark Samelstad said the push for a special ceremony came after local police chiefs and Sheriff John Shilts got together for a meeting recently.
“This is going to be an annual event from here on in,” he said. “We’ll move it around to different locations each year. We want to honor officers who were killed in the line of duty each year.”
Samelstad said the number of officers killed while on duty is on the increase, and officials want to draw attention to the trend.
The ceremony is also designed to honor those who put their life on the line every day to ensure the public’s safety, he noted.
“Everyone in our department is excited about this ceremony,” Samelstad said. “They’re glad we’re doing it.”
Refreshments, provided by Family Fresh in New Richmond, will be served following the gathering.