BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — This is National Peace Officers Memorial week, a time set aside by President Kennedy in 1962 to remember officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Boulder held its inaugural Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony Friday afternoon.
Boulder has lost seven officers in the line of duty in the past 100 years, including Officer Eric Talley just over a month and a half ago. Police Chief Maris Herold said the timing of this ceremony was important for Officer Talley’s family and for his colleagues at the police department.
“It’s only been a little over a month and a half since we lost Eric. I look around roll calls and the training room and I can still see people are really hurting. This takes one more step for the healing process,” Herold said.
During the ceremony, Boulder’s mayor and city manager each spoke about honoring the sacrifices of the fallen officers. They also thanked current officers for their service.
“We all wish frequently never to lose a colleague to violence, but they are a valuable opportunity to hopefully reflect on notions of courage. The officers being honored today remind us meaningful public service requires tremendous courage. The positions they find themselves in and the decisions they make can be the difference between life and death, theirs and others. And this willingness to pay the ultimate sacrifice and to carry such a heavy responsibility, deserves nothing less than our utmost awe and respect,” said Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde, Boulder City Manager.
The command staff laid a blue rose on the memorial for each of the seven officers who have been killed in the line of duty, while stories of their sacrifice were read.
“Each one is a hero, and I am humbled by their valor. Policing is undergoing a significant amount of scrutiny today and I believe we need to engage in these discussions earnestly to improve equity at a systems level. But, and I want to make this clear, we cannot forget the inherent dangers and sacrifices faced by those who serve in these role. Police face critical situations which require immediate actions and can result in devastating personal traumas. We must ensure the safety of our police officers,” Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver said.
Herold presented Officer Talley’s wife with the Medal Of Honor.
“I always say I’m sorry, we all loved Eric. I actually get strength from her because she is just unbelievably strong. Eric’s heroic actions saved lives and should not be forgotten,” Talley’s widow said.
A special guest was invited to the ceremony. Sam Dunbar was invited to meet Officer Talley’s family and share his story of how Officer Talley’s sacrifice inspired him to give up a promising real estate career to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“I want her to know Officer Talley may be gone, his name not in vain. We honor him, as time goes on we don’t forget and I’m going to try to live on his legacy,” Dunbar said.