Honoring the Memory of Delaware State Troopers
The Delaware State Police Memorial Service was held at the Saint Polycarp Church on Monday, December 3, 2018 where our brethren honored and remembered the service and ultimate sacrifice of our 33 fallen brothers and sisters. During the Heroes’ Roll Call, the families and friends of the fallen placed a rose on the table that held the trooper’s campaign hat- a revered symbol of all Delaware State Troopers. May God bless those who wear the uniform.
The delegation of speakers, during the ceremony, included the Attorney General of Delaware, Matthew Denn, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, Robert Coupe, Superintendent of the Delaware State Police, Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. and the President of the Concerns of Police Survivors, Mrs. Eleanor Allione.
The Most Reverend Bishop W. Francis Malooly and the Delaware State Police Chaplains, Florence Cephas and William Coco, offered kind words and prayers for our fallen brothers and sisters, our survivors and for the protection and safety of our troopers providing us with continued hope and restoring our faith in our commitment to service.
Most Reverend Bishop W. Francis Malooly said, “…Today once again, I simply thank you for all you do. We are so grateful and I’m very happy that every year you come to join the families who have lost loved ones and support them. That comradery that you have exhibited always is so significant not only in your day to day work but, in respecting and loving those who have come before us. We gather to remember and we pray each day for you and for your safety. You are a light and a presence of God for us. You provide safety and protection for us citizens and for that we are all very grateful.”
Attorney General Matthew Denn said, “Events like this are critical to remind us that at the end of the day, the backbone of law enforcement and the heart of law enforcement are men and women who, everyday go to work and put themselves in harm’s way so the rest of us can be safe and that always has to be front and center for us so it’s very important that we have this Delaware State Police Memorial Service…Events like this where we can look you in the eye in the space of this ole’ church with the sound of the Pipes and Drums echoing of the walls and say we remember your child, we remember your sibling, we remember your parent and say thank you for what they have done. I want to say thank you to the Delaware State Police for ensuring this event goes on in the future!”
Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, Robert Coupe said, “I have had the honor to stand before you many times here at Saint Polycarp’s since I was appointed Colonel in 2009 and each time I prepare to stand before you I search to find the words to describe the significance of these moments. We are here together as a family honoring our fallen brothers and sisters and to reassure you that we will never forget your loved ones and the sacrifice they made serving as Delaware State Troopers…What I want to say is thank you, thank you for coming today and sharing this day with us so we can remember and honor your loved ones, our brothers and sisters. While we are saddened as we think of those we have lost; may we be uplifted as we think of the joyful times that we shared with them and as we hear stories of their service and may your presence today strengthen our courage and our faith – you inspire us. It is our hope that this celebration of life somehow provides you with strength for the day and some comfort for your tears. There are some troopers whose names will be called today that served before many of us were even born and that is a reminder of why this memorial service is so important to fulfill our promise to all troopers that we shall never forget; their service and their sacrifice. We are grateful to all that are here today to fulfill that promise. We love you and we too, miss your loved ones, our brothers and sisters, our heroes; they are gone, but not forgotten. May God bless you and keep you safe.”
Superintendent of the Delaware State Police, Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. said, today, we are here to lift each other, support our survivors, and honor the memory of Delaware State Troopers who gave their lives in the line of duty and those who have lost their lives while so proudly serving the citizens of this great state. Although today is clearly a solemn occasion, the dedication and courage of our heroes is an enduring source of inspiration to us all…Our heartfelt sympathies go out to our colleagues and all agencies in our extended law enforcement family who have experienced the loss of an officer this year…I am often asked if police work is more difficult and more dangerous today, do troopers face more risks? The reality is that law enforcement has and continues to come with significant risks and the headlines do nothing to dispel or calm our thoughts that our world has become more dangerous. As the risk continues, we strive each and every day to welcome the prayers, to work through the pain, to embrace the pride, to focus on progress and to keep our promise. We welcome the prayers for the protection and safety of our troopers, as they give us hope and restore our faith and commitment to service. Pain, we know that the pain never goes away but we can work through it day by day when the thoughts of our heroes comes rushing back we work through the pain by supporting and strengthening each other and focusing on the good times and the wonderful things that remind us of their commitment and service. (Pride) As we think of the things that make us laugh the stories of their accomplishments, we are filled with pride. How proud we are of their service and grateful for their sacrifice. (Progress) As an agency we must also focus on the progress. The progress of a grateful agency, the progress of better equipment, technology and best practices that can help keep our troopers and communities safer. (Promise) As we continue our storied history as an agency. We will always keep our promise. Our promise…to honor our fallen, support our survivors, strengthen each other and to never forget. Every trooper past and present can be proud of the qualities embodied in their selflessness dedication, commitment and devotion of those we honor here today. Their giving of self also serves to remind us of our vulnerability as human beings and the dangers inherent in the lawful profession. Our commitment to service will never waiver and we will remain committed to service and the safety of our communities.”
Operations Officer for New Castle County Major Melissa Zebley said, “Since the late 1950’s all Delaware State Troopers have worn the blue campaign hat, the hat is worn year round in hot and cold temperatures and in dry and wet conditions. The hat is a symbol of the Delaware State Police, it represents all troopers past and present. At this time, the Delaware State Police Honor Guard will place a campaign hat at the alter in representation of all of our fallen troopers.”
During the ceremony Retired Delaware State Police Sergeant Hal Blades recalled the “Retired Troopers Remembrance” followed by Major Melissa Zebley Placing of the Campaign Hat with a reading of the “Heroes Roll Call” by Major Daniel Meadows giving each family an opportunity to place a long stemmed red-rose on the table next to the campaign hat-a symbol of every trooper-to honor their loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. Taps sounded after the last rose by, Sergeant Jonathan E. Packard. The Delaware State Police Chaplains blessed the Saint Michael’s Medals, a symbol of God’s protection for law enforcement. The service was blessed to have everyone join and sing “America the Beautiful.” The Delaware State Police Pipes & Drums and Honor Guard led the ceremony’s processional and recessional to close the ceremony with the hymn, “Amazing Grace”.
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Presented by the Director of Public Information, Sergeant Richard Bratz,