Remembering the fallen
STEUBENVILLE – God smiled down Friday on local law enforcement officers as they remembered the police officers killed in the line of duty.
A steady rain stopped moments before the annual Peace Officers Memorial Day ceremony started at the Historic Fort Steuben Park flagpole.
And as Steubenville Patrolman Shawn Scott and former city patrolman J.P. Rigaud, now an agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, sang “Amazing Grace” to close the ceremony, the sun broke through the clouds to warm the crowd assembled in the park.
It was a moving and somber ceremony as City Police and Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla stood in a single rank during the 30-minute event.
The law enforcement representatives were joined by retired police officers, family, friends and city officials.
“I appreciate having the retired police officers join us this morning. I can tell you the police officers are the greatest people in the world. They would lay down their lives for me as I would lay down my life for them,” said Scott, the chaplain for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 1.
City Manager Cathy Davison sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open the ceremony followed by 6th Ward Councilman David Lalich, who read a proclamation declaring May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Scott read “What Police Are Made Of” by Paul Harvey and then quietly read the list of fallen police officers from Steubenville, Mingo Junction and Toronto killed in the line of duty during the past 105 years.
“Patrolman John L. McDonald, Steubenville Police Department. End of Watch Jan. 8, 1908.”
“Patrolman Lafayette Mercer, Steubenville Police Department. End of watch July 2, 1914.”
“Patrolman William J. Snider, Mingo Junction Police Department. End of watch Jan. 26, 1923.”
“Patrolman Owen Burns, Steubenville Police Department. End of watch Nov. 7, 1926. Lieutenant Scott Roe, Steubenville Police Department. End of watch April 12, 1928,” Scott will state.
“Lieutenant Michael J. Maguschak Sr. Mingo Junction Police Department. End of watch Dec. 30, 1970.”
“Patrolman Leonard Lamatrice, Steubenville Police Department. End of watch July 21, 1972. Patrolman Thomas McGough, Steubenville Police Department. End of watch Aug. 6, 1972.”
“Ralph Benton Miller Sr., Toronto Police Department. End of watch March 26, 1978.”
Patrolman Eric Hart and his wife, Alex, presented a large Steubenville police badge knitted by an anonymous person, “who is very dear to us.”
“The badge will be placed on the City Hall wall by the police station. We had it framed by Nelson Fine Art and Crafts with the plaques of the six city police officers who died in the line of duty,” explained Eric.
And then Scott and Rigaud sang “Amazing Grace” and the sun that had been hidden by the clouds suddenly shined strong on the quiet assembly.