EL CENTRO – Fallen but not forgotten. The Imperial Valley Law Enforcement Memorial Committee has honored, since 2009, law enforcement that have died in the line of duty while serving in federal, state, county and city agencies throughout the county. The solemn ceremony was held at the Imperial County Court House May 8th, Friday evening.
Each year the committee hosts a full honors ceremony in May as a special tribute to the heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill their duties as law enforcement officers.
On the front lawn of the El Centro court house 39 American flags were posted next to the 39 pictures of those who gave their lives in the line of duty starting in 1920 to the most recently deceased in 2009.
“They try to do what they can to protect us. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have,” said Bertha Valenzuela, married to City of Imperial Officer Albert Valenzuela with twelve years on the police force.
The event included a motorcade procession, a 21 gun salute, a flag folding ceremony, taps, Amazing Grace, a riderless horse, and a moment of silence with a candle light vigil with glow sticks.
A variety of guest speakers spoke at the event with survivors given an opportunity to speak as well.
“There is no public outcry when an officer is killed,“ said El Centro Police Chief Eddie Silva Madueño. He spoke passionately of the sacrifices made by law enforcement to protect the lives of the community.
Current events such as the riots that erupted in Baltimore over Eddie Grey and many in social media calling for the death of officers has brought a spotlight to local law enforcement and the alleged misuse of power and excessive use of force by some in law enforcement.
“In every profession when someone does something wrong they should be held accountable, regardless of who they are,” said Madueño.[envira-gallery id=”57028″]