TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Families of men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty smiled and cried as they help to remember first responders at Terre Haute’s Fallen Hero’s Memorial.
Members of Terre Haute Fire Department, Terre Haute Police Department, Vigo County Sheriff’s office and others gathered to lay wreaths and explained the work they put in to make sure their former colleagues are never forgotten.
Terre Haute Fire Chief Bill Berry says it’s an unpredictable profession.
“The reality of being a police officer, the reality of being a firefighter, life can be snatched away from you in a second so I don’t want to see that again,” said Chief Berry. “I mean I hope none of us have to deal with that again in our community or our nation.”
Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse says it’s important to not only honor the sacrifice of first responders but also the sacrifices made by their families.
“They give their love one to us to do this job and then when they lose their life doing this job, it’s important for them to see we do really care,” Sheriff Plasse. “That they’re live’s really meant something and them protecting our community is important.”
Sheriff Plasse is also a military veteran who says ceremonies like this hold a special place in his heart.
“I teared up. If you were showing me at that moment, you’d see a tear come down my face. When I hear the national anthem every time I tear up and that’s because when I was deployed, everybody that we sent home, there was a ramp ceremony,” said Sheriff Plasse. “We had their casket with a flag and we had a formation then load them on a plane. When I hear the national anthem that’s all I remember is our veterans. Our first responders that gave their life.”
Chief Berry says the men and women who never made it home, will always be remembered for their service to the community.
“They’re gone but they’re never going to be forgotten. Just sitting around the fire house and remembering those guys,” said Chief Berry. “It’s great memories but it’s tough knowing that they’re not there to share in these future memories with us.”
Chief Berry ended with saying no matter how many years past their sacrifices and their names will never be forgotten.