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Today's Letters: Family thankful for ceremony

Published May 20, 2007


May 14 marked the beginning of National Law Enforcement Week, with ceremonies culminating on Friday, May 18, in Washington, D.C., in a candlelight vigil to honor and remember our nation's fallen officers.

Multiple Tampa Bay area law enforcement agencies and the state held services over the last week in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

It is with sincere thanks and appreciation that I acknowledge the Clearwater Police Department for its heartfelt dedication in holding its own 26th memorial service on May 11.

My family and I have attended every service. Our lives were forever changed 30 years ago when my brother, Officer Ron Mahony, was killed in the line of duty.

We are most grateful and appreciative that Clearwater's own have not been forgotten, nor shall they ever be. The marble stone memorial outside of the Clearwater police station holds the names of three other officers whose time ended much too soon.

We have been blessed that no other officer has lost his life in the past 30 years, but that is not to say that there have not been alarmingly close calls.

One may ask what he or she can do to say thanks to our men and women in blue. It begins at home, with teaching our children to respect and honor the laws set before us. We must show that in our daily actions. Children must be made aware at an early age that consequences will follow when unlawful choices are made. Teach them the values of self-worth, dignity and respect. Above all, honesty and integrity are a necessary foundation for a well-functioning society.

I extend my thanks to our Clearwater police officers for their selfless dedication in an all-too-often thankless occupation.

My thoughts and prayers are always with them for a safe return home at end of a shift.

Joanne Howell, Clearwater

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[Last modified May 19, 2007, 18:54:42]

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