LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Family members and officers from several departments across Michigan came together to honor law enforcement officers that lost their lives.
This is the 27th annual candlelight memorial service by Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors (MI-COPS). The event is usually held in May but due to the pandemic, it was pushed back to today. This year’s ceremony was also a little different.
“A police officer has that job of protecting the innocent from those who would do at harm, said Deputy Gordin Morse of Oakland County Sheriff’s Office during the invocation.
Heroes, that’s how each officer was remembered today.
“It is not normal to not have the presence of love and camaraderie that one should experience when a loss of this magnitude occurs,” said Andrea Arrington, President of Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors.
Today the organization gave family members a chance to grieve together. The names of the officers that died in 2019 and 2020 were read out loud. Family members placed a blue flower into a wreath and lit a candle to honor each one.
“2020 survivors, some of them didn’t even have funerals last year when their officers died. So it was important for us to show them that there’s support for them, that we’re here for them and we’re going to help them through this time,” said Arrington. “Last year almost half of our deaths were COVID. So we had more deaths last year than we’ve had for a very long time,” she continued.
For Arrington today brings a sense of healing. Her brother was a Detroit police officer and died 19 years ago.
“It’s important for me every time I do an event like this, I actually get to say his name so I make sure that he was never forgotten,” she said.
Lydia Amaya lost her husband nearly 40 years ago and even so, today’s event brings her…
“A sense of family, of comfort, it’s bittersweet,” said Amaya.
“When I told these survivors today that we would make sure that their officers aren’t forgotten I meant it and that’s why we do this,” said Arrington.