Whatever sacrifices necessary ...

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The Northern Kentucky Regional Rifle Team gives a 21-gun salute.

Annual service in Covington honors 37 fallen peace officers

COVINGTON, Ky. - The annual ceremony to honor Northern Kentucky peace officers who have died in the line of duty played out this morning near the Covington riverfront in a cacophony of sound:
  • The jarring reports of a 21-gun salute.
  • The roar of a helicopter flyover.
  • A staccato roll call of fallen officers.
  • The "clip clop" of a symbolic riderless horse, led down the concrete street.
  • The mournful sound of "Amazing Grace," played on bagpipes.
  • And the even more haunting sound of "Taps," played on a bugle.

More than a hundred officers and even more onlookers attended the 30-minute ceremony this morning at the Northern Kentucky Police Memorial, located at the approach to the Suspension Bridge.

The monument includes the names of 37 officers from Northern Kentucky who have died in the line of duty over the last century-plus, including eight from the Covington Police Department, one from the former Covington City Marshall's office, and one from the former Latonia Police Department.

The wife of one of those 37 officers, Sherry Bryant, recounted her shock and grief after the accident in 2003 that killed her husband, and she spoke of her work through the Kentucky chapter of COPS, an organization that helps families of those killed in the line of duty.

"That day was the most devastating day of our lives," she said, referencing the "healing process that never ends."

Covington officers participated in several aspects of the ceremony, and many stood in rank with some five or six dozen of their fellow officers from across the region.

Their uniforms represented many different agencies, and they serve in an era decidedly different than those killed decades and even a century ago.

But the theme that resounded throughout the service was one of commonality.

As the front cover of the program for the memorial service read:"There is much in the role of a Law Enforcement officer that changes over the years. Two factors remain constant: A dedication to service and a willingness to make whatever sacrifices that are necessary."

Covington K-9 Officer Mark Richardson, standing with Zino, salutes as Kenton County Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn, far left, plays "Taps."

Covington's Honor Guard helps present the Colors. From left to right are Officers Mike Gilliland, Scott Dames, and Jim Miskanin and Sgt. Rob Auton.

.The names of the fallen include 10 from current or former Covington agencies.

The symbolic riderless horse ...