Memorial service to honor, thank those who ‘protect and serve’

Photo by Andy Katz | Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In the wake of the shootings in Dallas, Texas, the St. George Interfaith Council, in cooperation with City of St. George officials are hosting an event to “Honor and Thank Law Enforcement” gathering at Vernon Worthen Park in St. George.

Thursday’s attack on police officers in Dallas that left five officers dead and wounded others, including two civilians, occurred during a “Black Lives Matter” protest march focused on the police shootings of two black men in other states.

The five police officers killed in the Dallas shootings July 7 raised the national annual total of officers shot and killed to 26, a 44 percent increase over this time last year, according to the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund statistics.

The Honor and Thank Law Enforcement gathering is being held Sunday, from 7-10 p.m. at the gazebo in Vernon Worthen Park, 300 S. 400 East, St. George.

The St. George Interfaith Council and St. George City Officials are hosting the community event featuring speakers including St. George Mayor Jon Pike, Interfaith President Joe Doherty, St. George Police Chief Marlon Stratton and Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher. The invitation to participate has also been extended to representatives of police departments, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the National Guard.

Music will be provided by the Interfaith Choir.

“We will be thanking those who protect and serve us daily,” Interfaith Council’s Tim Martin said. “Now is an important time for all Americans to join together in remembrance and thanks, regardless of any differences.”

Many public officials and law enforcement agencies throughout the state have issued public statements regarding the shootings, including Gov. Gary Herbert, who made this statement on Friday, in the wake of the attacks:

My prayers are with the Dallas Police Department and our law enforcement community at this time. Last night’s attack serves as a painful and heartbreaking reminder of just how much our public safety officers sacrifice to protect each one of us.

The governor also authorized the lowering of the flags of the United States of America and Utah at all state facilities as a mark of respect for the victims of the attack in Dallas, Texas. Flags will be flown at half-staff at all state facilities until sunset Tuesday.

Sen. Orrin Hatch also made a statement regarding the Dallas shootings, when he said:

I join a grieving nation in mourning the deaths of our slain police officers in Dallas. An attack on law enforcement is an attack on us all. In the wake of the terrible tragedies that have occurred through the week, we must all stand united in condemning senseless acts of violence. And we must all stand together in supporting the brave men and women in blue who risk their own well-being for the safety of others.

Attorney General Sean Reyes issued his statement, both with regard to the shooting in Dallas, Texas, and those in Louisiana and Minnesota.  He said:

Our office, which includes many front line law enforcement officers, is in mourning for all the lives lost this past week. From Dallas to Louisiana to Minnesota and the rest of our nation, all lives are sacred. And the sanctity of life should be a guiding principle in how our law enforcement and our communities interact: the sanctity of lives and safety of law enforcement equally with those citizens they are sworn to protect. We express our most sincere sympathies to those who have lost loved ones to violence now or in the past. 

Over the last two years, our Office has conducted round-table discussions and trainings on the topics of de-escalation and communication with both community and faith leaders in Utah along with members of law enforcement. We are committed to continuing that effort. If we can help prevent even one act of violence, we will have been successful.

In addition to public outreach, the Office of the Attorney General, with support from the governor, the Utah Legislature and law enforcement leaders, conducts statewide de-escalation training to law enforcement personnel with an emphasis on the sanctity of life. Training is also being developed to further skills and sensitivity relating to citizens with cultural and language diversity as well as mental illness or disability. Such training is intended to help Utah officers avoid violence in their peace keeping efforts and is available to all members of the Utah law enforcement community.

Event details

  • What:  Honor and Thank Law Enforcement gathering
  • Where: Vernon Worthen Park Gazebo,  300 S. 400 East, St. George
  • When: Sunday, July 10 from 7-10 p.m.
  • Host:  St. George Interfaith Council and St. George City officials

This is an outside event, so dress for hot weather.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

 

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1 Comment

  • Henry July 10, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Thank you police officers, for keeping our communities safe while being ready to lay your life on the line. And thank you to the Interfaith Council for setting up this memorial service.

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