RADCLIFF, KY Nine Hardin County-area law men have died on duty since 1901, but regardless of the years, decades or century having passed, considerate people in Radcliff won t allow those having paid the ultimate price to be forgotten.
Beginning in the late 1980s, the William R. Burns Fraternal Order of Police Memorial Lodge No. 39 set aside the second Friday in May to remember deputies, troopers, officers and sergeants having died in the line of duty.
Friday, lodge members, dignitaries, families of deceased, cops, firefighters, soldiers and others paid respects to fallen officers during a special memorial.
U.S. Mint Lt. Adrienne Meyer read aloud names etched in granite on a monument in front of Radcliff police headquarters:
- Hardin County Deputy Sheriff Richard Read, died July 22, 1901.
- Hardin County Deputy Sheriff Terry McCurtry, died Dec. 13, 1914.
- Kentucky State Police Post 4 Trooper Lee T. Huffman, died May 4, 1953.
- Kentucky State Police Post 4 Trooper William F. Prickard, died Jan. 21, 1976.
- Kentucky State Police Post 4 Lt. Willis D. Martin, died April 26, 1977.
- Kentucky State Police Post 4 Trooper Eddie Harris, died Nov. 7, 1979.
- West Point Police Officer Donald R. Donnie Williams, died June 16, 1984.
- Radcliff Police Officer William R. Billy Bob Burns, died July 5, 1985.
- Hardin County Sheriff s Office Sgt. William J. Collins Jr., died June 9, 2001.
Hardin County Deputy Jailer Karin Turner placed a wreath at the monument, then stood at attention as Meyer read a poem well known to servicemen and women entitled The Final Inspection.
Admitting flaws in his life, the main subject of the poem is accepted into heaven as God acknowledges to the former cop, You ve done your time in hell.
State Representative Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, said many folks don t understand why people choose a sometimes underpaid and often unappreciated career in law enforcement.
These people are part of an elite fraternity, Moore said, acknowledging that women, too, serve. They believe in an ideal of law and order and protection and service that makes it all worthwhile.
Those ideals can at times lead to one of the elite losing his or her life. Moore said those willing to give so much deserve the respect of those they re trying to serve.
That s what this memorial service is all about, Meyer said.
Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.
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