NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— The country is honoring the men and women who serve their communities for National Police Week.
Here at home, Newport News is recognizing those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in uniform.
Eleven Newport News Police officers have died in the line of duty over the years, protecting and serving the community.
They are officers who left home and never returned. Each one was honored during the Newport News Police Department’s annual memorial service at the Mariners' Museum Friday evening.
“You never know what’s around the corner, what kind of call you’re going to go on, but I think it’s a time for all of us to come together and to lean on each other,” says Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew.
A single red rose carried by a Newport News police recruit was laid in memory of each fallen officer.
“Far too often I think we forget, but we don’t remember those who pay tribute,” says Drew. "I think it’s important to remember where we came from and where we started," he says.
The final rose was white and honors the hundreds of officers who continue to serve in Newport News, patrolling the same street as the officers who gave their lives were once on.
Nearly 60 years ago, officers Clarence Small and Courtney Cook lost their lives in a high-speed chase. Today, Officer Small’s daughter says it’s important for her to attend this event each year to honor the memory of her father.
“He died a good man, helping somebody. Two people in a high-speed chase trying to help somebody and that’s what I think about— doing good for the public” says Denise Small.
Small says she’ll continue to remember her father for his sacrifice and looks forward to the day they reunite.
“I love you, Daddy, and there ain’t nothing you can do about it. Wherever you go, I want to see you. When the Pearly Gates come open, I want to see you,” says Small.