Remembering our fallen heroes

MARQUETTE — “Military and law enforcement are the only two professions where we are asked if it is necessary to give our lives in defense of something much greater than ourselves,” said Terrence Jungel, CEO/Executive Officer of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association.

Law enforcement officers from Michigan, Wisconsin and Canada gathered at Northern Michigan University Friday morning to honor and remember those lost in the line of duty.

“This is about making sure those individuals who gave their lives in the service to others are never forgotten and their sacrifice remembered,” said NMU President Dr. Fritz Erickson.

A procession of red and blue flashing lights made its way from the Michigan State Police Negaunee Post to the Superior Dome for the annual Upper Peninsula Peace Officers Memorial Service. The service is held in honor of National Police Week.

“We have chosen today to hold a solemn tribute to police officers and their families throughout the Upper Peninsula and those originally from the Upper Peninsula who have made the ultimate sacrifice while providing the safety and security of their fellow men and women,” said Marquette County Undersheriff Michael Klein.

“Without law enforcement, we have anarchy. Without law enforcement, we have no government,” said U.S. District Court Judge R. Allan Edgar.

Since 1885, 27 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty in the Upper Peninsula. Several family members of those fallen heroes were in attendance.

“This week is special in that we get to spend some time with family members of some of these fallen officers to remind them that their family and their lost loved one that they’re certainly not forgotten,” said MSP Negaunee Post Commander F/Lt. Clint Michelin.

A roll call of 78 officers was read aloud, which serves as a constant reminder for active police officers to always be aware and vigilant.

“What you are doing is very dangerous and could someday end your life. I also believe and understand that at the end of each shift each of you want to go home. That is the goal of your day and probably more so the ultimate goal,” said former Marquette Chief of Police Mike Angeli.

“It’s a big reminder that we need to stay safe, we need to look out for each other and we really need to take care of our community in such a way that’s safe for everybody, citizens and officers alike,” added Michelin.