National memorial pays tribute to Maine police officers

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- The country salutes Maine law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Family, friends, and colleagues find comfort knowing their loved ones will not be forgotten.

Trooper Benjamin Campbell died in the line of duty. His name now sits on the National Police Memorial. (Source: Gray DC)

There are 307 additional names that grace the walls of the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. this year, including Hilary Campbell’s husband Benjamin.

“To actually see the name in stone,” said Campbell’s widow, “it’s very humbling, it’s such an honor…but at the same time, it’s equally heartbreaking.”

Trooper Benjamin Campbell died just before his 32nd birthday, while assisting a driver who slid off I-95 that April morning. A wheel came off a passing log truck, fatally injuring the young man devoted to his community, work, and family.

“He deserves to live on through all of us, he was the sweetest, most humble, gentle-giant that you could have ever met,” said Hilary.

The coronavirus pandemic forced organizers to largely cancel this year’s annual Police Week public events.

Our thoughts and prayers are for all those families, and all those agencies,” said Col. John Cote, with Maine State Police.

Cote said while the state police could not visit the wall or take part in the planned ceremonies, they did connect with Campbell’s family as a national audience paid tribute to their loss.

“At his heart, he was a guardian and a helper,” said Cote.

Hilary said she is forever grateful for the love and support that’s come in from down the road and across the country. But nothing compares to watching her son grow up, reminding her more-and-more of his father every day.

"I see Ben in him, so much,” she said. “He definitely, without knowing, has saved my life.”

And, she says hopefully someday soon, she and Everett can go see his father’s memorial together.

Rockport Maine’s former Police Chief Perley Sprague was also honored this year – more than two decades after he died of a heart attack while training in 1996.

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