SHELBY, N.C. (WBTV) - Every year our police officers and sheriff’s deputies get together during police week to honor the heroes who risked it all while in the line of duty. This year’s annual meetup in Cleveland County was a bit more special for some as a new memorial was unveiled Friday morning.
Shelby’s new Fallen Heroes Memorial serves as a big “thank you” to every officer in Cleveland County history who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Local reverends and pastors shared a mic to offer prayers to those who have the burden of pain from each loss.
Every department who answers 911 calls in the county filled the crowd.
“There’s no barriers when it comes to supporting law enforcement in Cleveland County,” said Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman.
Family members of the fallen officers sat front and center. Other folks from the community who back the blue were there too.
“It shows solidarity and it’s just one of those things that brings us closer together,” said Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford.
It’s a precious moment to see a debut of all the names etched in stone, so no one can ever forget the ones who died trying to protect us. At the same time, Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman has a prayer of his own. He says anyone who gets up every day to put on an officer’s uniform deserves to come back home to their families.
“God forbid it does not need to be another name engraved on this monument behind me,”the sheriff said.
The courage and strength that it takes to serve communities in the way that officers do certainly was not overlooked in downtown Shelby this Friday. The chief Ledford says the sense of community and closeness that he felt during the memorial gives him hope for the future regarding police relationships everywhere.
“I do think what this shows in not just in our community, but our state and nation that there is a price and there is a bigger cause for of all to come together,” said Ledford.