Central Florida fallen officers honored virtually during National Police Week

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As part of National Police Week, more than 300 names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.

As part of National Police Week, more than 300 names have been added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. (Source: Gray DC)

Two of the fallen heroes are from Central Florida, but you might not recognize their names. That’s because the officers died more than 100 years ago.

Gainesville Florida Town Marshall Thomas Branch was fatally shot while on patrol in 1875. He died at the age of 38.

Alachua County Deputy Sheriff William Newberry was killed with his own gun during a burglary in progress in 1917. He was 44-years old.

“People are willing to put themselves in harm’s way. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude,” said Fraternal Order of Police National President Patrick Yoes.

Since 1786, more than 22,000 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial says they are making sure those who were lost are remembered, no matter how long ago it was.

This year, the event looks a little different though. Typically, thousands of family members and law enforcement officials descend on Washington to pay tribute to the fallen heroes during Police Week, but because of the coronavirus crisis, all public events have been canceled.

Instead, the 307 officers will be honored through a digital candlelight vigil Wednesday night. You can light a virtual candle in honor of Marshall Branch and Deputy Sheriff Newberry.

The vigil begins online at 8:00p.m. You can learn more on the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund’s website.

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