Hundreds of NC law enforcement officers gather to remember falle - | WBTV Charlotte

Hundreds of NC law enforcement officers gather to remember fallen heroes

(Ben Williamson | WBTV) (Ben Williamson | WBTV)
GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Hundreds of Law Enforcement from across North Carolina gathered in Gaston County Thursday morning for the 2017 Police Memorial Ceremony. Each year the ceremony is held to honor the fallen officers from the prior year.

Shelby Police Officer Tim Brackeen and Forsyth County Sheriff Deputy John Isenhour were both killed in September of 2016. Officer Brackeen was killed while serving warrants to a known felon. Deputy Isenhour was killed after being hit by a car at a community event.

“It says in the Bible, 'blessed are the peacemakers because they will be called children of God,'" said Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger. “That is one of the purposes of this, to let the families know that we will never forget. The loved ones that they have lost, the family has sacrificed.”

At the memorial service, a flag and a rose were placed for both Officer Brackeen and Deputy Isenhour.

“I don’t think it is something you get over, I don’t think it is something you get past. It becomes a new normal,” said Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford. “It is those little things that help us remember and pay tribute as we go.”

The loss of Officer Brackeen had an impact on everyone in the community, and his family said his loss is felt every day.

“I would say for me, it was more difficult than I thought it would be,” said Officer Brackeen's brother, Rev. Stephen Brackeen. “I miss the closeness, the knowing that I am going to see him because we work in the same town.”

Officer Brackeen left behind a wife and a young daughter.

"There is a place missing, especially for his daughter and his wife that can never be filled,” said Stephen Brackeen. “He was in every way a real hero. It is nice to see that people remember and recognize because we cannot forget.”

The families of other fallen heroes from years past were also present at the memorial.

“Although someone from another agency - we may not know them, but if there is a loss - we feel their pain,” said Col. Glenn McNeill with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

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