Sheriff’s department honors fallen deputies

We were touched by this service, at which the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department memorializes those who have given their lives to protect the citizens of the county. Take a look‚

The flag that flies in front of the County Sheriff’s Department is lowered, and made ready for presentation, at the department’s memorial ceremony.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A Color Guard unit marches to the front of the Hansen Building, home of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department, and takes their place. An Honor Guard, with ceremonial rifles in hand, performs an arms drill.

In addition to Sheriff’s Deputies, Gresham Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Sheriff’s offices from Clackamas and Clark County are also present for this solemn program held at on the late morning of May 16.

Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto speaks with us as the memorial service is about to begin.

The flag, about to be ceremonially folded, is displayed.

“The nation started this recognition and memorial service 16 years ago. It is to remind us, not only of the sacrifice of the people in law enforcement who have lost their lives, but also what it means to protect the nation, our state, and our community.

“It’s important to remember that sacrifice. It is also important to remember that these men and women protect the freedoms we enjoy in our country, in our state, and here in our county.”

The Honor Guard stands at attention before their black-powder salute.

After a brief invocation, the National Anthem plays.

Deputies slowly lower the flag in front of the Hansen Building. This flag is presented – held out in the noonday sun. As a new flag is raised, then lowered to half staff, the retired flag is ceremonially folded and presented to Sheriff Giusto.

Sheriff Bernie Giusto receives the flag, taken down in honor of fallen deputies.

“Taps” is bugled; the Honor Guard fires their rifles into the springtime sky.

Sheriff Giusto addresses the group, saying in part, “Behind each [fallen member’s name] is a story of service to others. Of risks taken, so that others might be safe; of running toward danger, not away from it. We celebrate the legacy they left behind: A safer and more secure nation.”

The “Roll of Fallen Deputies” is read aloud, naming those who fell in service from 1917 to 2003.

A Portland Police Bureau bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace”.

Sheriff Giusto salutes the carefully-folded United States flag, after he places it before the Deputies’ Memorial.

Speaking to us after the memorial ceremony, regarding the law enforcement professionals with whom he works, Giusto adds, “As we move forward, it is an amazing dynamic that people are willing to come into our profession. They are willing to ‘give it all’.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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