DULANEY VALLEY, MD. — The sound of drums, officers walking in unison and bagpipes filled the Dulaney Valley Memorial Garden on Friday for the 34th annual Fallen Heroes Day ceremony.
The ceremony started off with a prayer. The chaplain saying, "to our fallen brothers sisters and friends whose memories continue to guide us, we salute you. Rest in peace and know you will never be forgotten."
"The real heroes are ordinary people willing to do extraordinary things. Real heroes make immense sacrifices in the name of service to their communities. Real heroes go to work everyday and put their own lives on the line to protect others," said Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr.
Five police officers and firefighters died in the line of duty last year. They were all honored.
- Rescue Captain Patricia "Pat" Osburn, North Beach Volunteer Fire Department - May 26, 2018
- Special Agent Nole Remagen, Department of Homeland Security/ United States Secret Service - July 17, 2018
- Lt. Nathan Flynn, Howard Counrt Department of Fire and Rescue Services - July 23, 218
- Assistant Fire Chief Daniel "Danny" Lister, Queen Anne-Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Company - Sept. 1, 2018
- Police Officer First Class Amy Caprio, Baltimore County Police Department - May 21, 2018
Officer Caprio was hit and killed with a stolen Jeep while she was responding to a burglary call in a Perry Hall neighborhood. On Tuesday, 17-year-old Dawnta Harris was found guilty of first-degree felony murder in her death. Friday at the ceremony, her family sat next to the Baltimore County Police Chief as her husband accepted her Fallen Heroes tribute.
There were several people in the crowd who know the heartache this family feels all too well, like Charles "Chuck" Schneider. Schneider's son was a Baltimore County Police Officer who was shot and killed while serving a search warrant in 2013. He spoke at the ceremony, stressing that everyone must remember their loved ones chose to be a rescuer or protector because they have a passion and drive to help others.
"As a society we rely on courage of the few to protect the many. Remember these heroes fought up until the last second. They didn’t falter. They didn’t quit. They didn’t run away," said Schneider. He added, "even in the face of death."
The ceremony also paid tribute to two others: North East Fire Company Firefighter Steward Godwin who died while responding to a crash in 1963 and Baltimore City Police Officer Jimmy Halcomb who was shot and killed in 1976. These two men died in the line of duty before Fallen Heroes Day started, that's why they were honored on Friday.