MADERA COUNTY – After what is being regarded as one of most emotional Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremonies held in Madera County, Sheriff’s Deputies had no idea what was in store for them upon their return to headquarters. They were greeted by a true heroes’ welcome.
Pasted on widows, taped to doorways, and tacked to walkways were nearly 100 handmade cards, each one expressing thanks to the men and women who put their lives on the line every day.
The cards, created by students from kindergarten through the 4th grade, were hand-delivered this morning to the Sheriff’s Office while deputies and all law enforcement agencies honored those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Sheriff Anderson says the department was moved by our county’s young minds. In spite of their inability to attend today’s memorial ceremony, they still found a way to honor this solemn occasion.
On behalf of the men and women who serve Madera County, Sheriff Anderson wishes to thank students from Webster, Sierra View, Rivergold and Coarsegold Elementary schools.
While the students’ colorful and heartfelt tribute was being created at the Sheriff’s Office, members of law enforcement along with friends, family and supporters were gathered at Courthouse Park to honor those who have died in the line of duty.
After an introduction by Sheriff John Anderson and Posting of the Colors by VSP and CCWF Honor Guard, District Attorney Michael Keitz led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the National Anthem performed by Lt. Gerald King of the Madera County Department of Corrections.
Chief of Police for the City of Chowchilla, Jay Varney, led the Invocation, followed by CHP Lt. Commander Craig Kunzler speaking in remembrance of the 10 fallen officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in 2013.
A bagpipe solo by Ron Rockholt accompanied the laying of the wreath by Margot Sciacqua, the daughter of Madera County Sheriff’s Matron Lucille Helm, who was the first female in the state of California to die in the line of duty in July 1959, along with Mike and Matthew Shannon, in honor of Madera Police Officer Denny Shannon, who was killed in April 1954.
An Arms Salute was conducted by the California Highway Patrol, followed by Taps, performed by Paul Anderson, Associate Warden at the Central California Women’s Facility.
This is the eighth year this Memorial Ceremony has been held in honor of those who have died in service to the citizens of California.