Families, Officials Pay Tribute to 36 Officers Killed in Line of Duty

By JEFF CAMPBELL / NewsChannel 36 via http://www.ten8.wordpress.com

CHARLOTTE – Police officers and their families gathered on Friday night for a yearly tribute to fallen officers that took on special significance this year.

Exactly 10 weeks to the day after Officer Fred Thornton lost his life, the Fraternal Order of Police held their yearly May tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Officer Thornton was killed when a flash-bang device detonated as he was trying to render his SWAT gear safe. The detonation caused massive injuries that ultimately took Thornton’s life. He was a 28-year veteran with CMPD.

Friday night in Sharon Memorial Park, Thornton’s wife, Linda, was on hand to recognize her husband’s service, and to grieve with the families of other fallen officers.

“We owe you – the families and the officers – a great debt of gratitude for what it is that you give to us,” Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said, expressing his sympathies to the families.

Mayor Foxx also read aloud the names of all 36 Mecklenburg County officers who have lost their lives dating back to the late 1800s – including CMPD officers, as well as Huntersville and Davidson Police, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI.
As each name was read aloud, one balloon was sent into the air for each of the officers.

“The candlelight vigil is a really special time,” said Trisha Norket, the mother of Officer John Burnette.

Burnette was killed on October 5th, 1993. He and fellow officer Andy Nobles spotted a stolen car in the Boulevard Homes neighborhood, and chased the driver into the woods. During a confrontation, the driver grabbed one of the officers’ weapons and killed them both. Burnette was just 25 years old.

And now, 17 years later, Norket told NewsChannel 36, “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my son.”
“I don’t think about the bad things. I think about the good things. That is just the way we live our lives,” she said.

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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