More than 2,000 officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) were last Friday joined by Justice Minister and Attorney General (AG) Frederick Cherue to memorialize about 800 of their fallen colleagues who died in defense of the nation.
During the colorful ceremony held at the Tubman United Methodist Church in Paynesville City outside Monrovia, a wreath was laid on the grave of Alphonso King, the man hailed for his visionary role to design and construct the police headquarters, though he was not a police officer.
In his message on the theme” A life of remembrance,” Rev. Henry McDonald Deshield said it is time for officers to live a life of dignity and respect.
Rev. Deshield told the gathering that, “What you are doing is not a waste, but do it with pride and dignity so that you may be remembered like your friends here today.”
He told LNP officers to “leave behind a legacy like your fallen colleagues.”
Justice Minister Cherue admonished other law enforcement agencies to emulate the good example of the LNP to remember their fallen officers.
He lauded the LNP for “starting something that would be a regular ceremony.”
“Thanks for starting something which we can do to bring pride to the families who lost (these fallen colleagues) because we have to recognize their footprints,” the Justice Minister said.
He said the ministry recognizes the insults and assault officers receive from the public, adding “but it should not serve as a hindrance to performing their jobs professionally.”
Cllr. Cherue admonished officers to keep in line with their duties as the job calls for professionalism.
UNPOL Commissioner Simon Blatchly recommitted the organization to helping the Liberia National Police to minimize its numerous challenges.
Inspector General (IG) Gregory Coleman said the intent of the service was not mainly about their fallen colleagues, but to demonstrate to their families that they played very important roles in the discharge of their duties.
He said the fallen officers paid the ultimate sacrifice. He thanked former Director Chris Massaquoi who he noted started the initiative.
”This is for the families who make the selfless sacrifice, because we (police) may not be there every day, but we stand with you and we say thank you for allowing your loved ones to make the sacrifice for the profession,” Col Coleman emphasized.
He admonished his men to “live lives worth living.”
“This is a difficult profession, we don’t see this as a career but our lives, so we come today to celebrate and honor those who served diligently and those who continue to serve the police meaningfully,” Coleman’ noted.
Other present and past police officers who graced the memorial service included Ms. Rose Stryker, former Deputy Police Director, now assigned at the Executive Protection Service (EPS), Isatu Bah-Kenneth former Deputy Director who is now with the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).