The Flagler County Sheriff's Office held its annual Law Enforcement Memorial and Candlelight Vigil on May 14.
Locals held up blue electric candles in a darkened room at the Flagler County Sheriff's Operations Center May 14 to recognize law enforcement officers who died on duty.
"We stand in solidarity with their loved ones and honor all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to serve and protect their community," Sheriff Rick Staly said. "Our nation recognizes them as brave law enforcement officers, and rightly so. But they were also fathers, mothers, loving spouses, loyal sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and the greatest of friends. Together, we mourn them as individuals of indisputable integrity, unwavering character, and immeasurable kindness. They gave so much and asked for so little in return."
The candles — along with a performance by the Coastal Florida Police and Fire Pipes and Drums, an invocation by Chaplain Juan Schembri, a benediction by Chaplain Ed Reistetter, a speech by Staly and a remembrance ceremony to recognize Flagler County law enforcement officers who died on duty — was part of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office's 2018 Law Enforcement Memorial and Candlelight Vigil.
During the ceremony, which was held inside this year because of rain, family members of the local law enforcement officers who died on duty laid flowers to recognize their loved ones. The five Flagler County law enforcement officers who died on duty were: Sheriff Perry Hall, in 1927; Deputy Sheriff George "Son" Durrance, in 1927; Sheriff Homer W. Brooks, in 1965; Deputy Charles "Chuck" Sease, in 2003; and Sergeant Francesco "Frankie" Celico, in 2011. Hall, Durrance and Sease died in the line of duty. Brooks and Celico died of natural causes on duty.
"Tonight in Flagler County, and this week around the nation, they are honored by those who knew them, loved them and miss them terribly," Staly said. "To the fiends and family of the fallen that are here with us tonight, I say to you: You are not alone. We stand with you, we mourn with you, and we remember with you."