Local fallen officers honored at Lexington County Law Enforcement Memorial Service
Law enforcement officers, civilians, and town officials gathered at the Lexington County Judicial Center Tuesday morning to honor local officers who have died in the line of duty. The annual ceremony is held during law enforcement appreciation week (May 12 through 18) at the county’s fallen officers memorial.
The ceremony began with the presentation of colors. Batesburg-Leesville Police Chief W. Wallace Oswald welcomed the crowd and introduced keynote speaker, retired Judge Knox McMahon. McMahon also spent years as a sheriff’s deputy before his time as a judge.
“An unsung hero is a person who has performed an act of such courage, bravery, dedication or the like, and has gotten no praise or recognition,” said McMahon. The term defines the 17 fallen officers being recognized, according to McMahon. “There are unsung heroes who are among us today, still serving to my left and to my right,” he added.
He referenced the last name listed on the monument: Deputy Sheriff Byron Keith Cannon of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Cannon died May 4, 2005. “You know what I think [Cannon] would say, if he could? ‘I hope mine is the last name on this wall.’ That’s what I think he would think,” said McMahon.
A proclamation was read by Batesburg-Leesville Mayor Lancer Shull announcing that May 12 through 18 will be deemed “police week” in Batesburg-Leesville. “The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund reported that 144 law enforcement officers lost their lives in the line of duty in 2018,” he said. “I declare May 15 to be Peace Officers Memorial Day, with a special observance to be held on May 14 at the Lexington County Law Enforcement Monument.”
Sergant Corey Nimons and Sergeant Charles Holloway of the Batesburg-Leesville Police Department read the names of the 17 fallen officers, ringing a bell after each name. Chief Oswald and Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon placed a wreath at the center of the monument, while all stood in remembrance during the playing of Taps.