ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office hosted a special memorial service Friday to honor the lives of four Louisiana police officers who were killed on the job.
The four officers honored were taken too soon to tell their own stories, but their loved ones were there to make sure they are never forgotten. Lafayette Police Corporal Michael Middlebrook, New Orleans Police Officer Marcus McNeil, Zachary Reserve Officer Christopher Lawton, and Monroe Police Officer Ayrian Williams were all killed while serving others.
Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley reflected on the last year. "So many wars, so many conflicts, so many notifications, so many families have heard the worst news they could hear," Wiley said.
In his keynote address, retired Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr., whose father was killed in the line of duty, shared the toll that tremendous loss had on his life, most recently, when two of his officers were gunned down in an ambush on police in July of 2016.
"The passing of our heroes once again reminds us of the brevity of life that we all face each time we put on the badge and uniform and leave our families to work one more shift in an effort to make our communities a safer place to live, work, worship, and play," Dabadie said.
Dabadie acknowledged those officers' relatives, who are left to endure the pain that comes with making that kind of sacrifice. Ascension Parish Lt. Laura Gremillion read aloud the officers' names and recalled the last time he or she was called to duty. A single red rose was presented to their families. The gesture was followed with a final prayer and salute to the men and women who took an oath to serve and protect.
"They will never be forgotten and they will always be remembered as our heroes," Dabadie said.
APSO has hosted the memorial service for the last six years.