Jonesville United Methodist Church hosted the annual Surry-Yadkin County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service on Friday morning.
Friends, family, fellow law enforcement officers, and members of the public gathered to honor the memory of eight fallen Surry and Yadkin County Law Enforcement Officers:
Sheriff J.E. Zachary, Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office, February 13, 1920
Officer Henry Dow Kennedy, Mount Airy Police Department, July 17, 1946
Deputy James Billups Trevathan, Surry County Sheriff’s Office, June 2, 1963
Officer James Thomas, Jr., Pilot Mountain Police Department, June 2, 1966
Officer Ralph East, Pilot Mountain Police Department, February 3, 1969
Office Glenn Branscome, Pilot Mountain Police Department, February 3, 1969
Detective Clinton Monroe Boggs, Mount Airy Police Department, February 25, 1971
Sergeant Gregory Keith Martin, Jonesville Police Department, October 5, 1996
In a solemn ceremony, Lindbergh Swaim, mayor of Jonesville, and other Yadkin and Surry county officials gave some opening remarks.
Paul Johnson, a member of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, said that his prayer is that there would be no need for a memorial service for fallen officers.
“It is a shame that officers and folks like you have to put your lives on the line and that there are people who would take your lives with disregard,” Johnson said.
Eddie Harris, another Surry County commissioner, gave his opening remarks with sentiment as he remembered hearing the news of one of the fallen officers, Ralph East, as a young boy. He was friends with one of Officer East’s grandsons.
“I hope the memory of these people go on for what they’ve done,” Harris said.
Law enforcement officers of Surry and Yadkin County read the biographies of the fallen officers.
Jonesville Chief of Police Roger Reece gave the biography of fallen officer Gregory Keith Martin, who died in 1996. He was murdered while making a traffic stop on I-77 and his murder is still unsolved. According to Reece, it is the only unsolved murder of a police officer in the state of North Carolina. The reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible is now $130,000. A memorial in honor of Sergeant Martin is displayed in front of Jonesville Town Hall.
“If we keep following the evidence in this case, one day we will solve this case,” Chief Reece said.
Representative Sarah Stevens, now serving her second term in the North Carolina House of Representatives, spoke at the memorial service. She said that recognizing those who serve every day is important and police officers have special qualities.
“They treat the entire community as family,” Representative Stevens said. “They [law enforcement officers] are willing to risk everything they have for someone they don’t even know.”
The service ended with a Volley Salute and the playing of “Taps” by the V.F.W. Post 9436 from Pilot Mountain and the V.F. W. Post 2019 from Mount Airy outside of the church.
The service was part of National Police Week, established in 1962 by former President John F. Kennedy.
Reach Tara E. Moore at email@example.com or 835-1513.