On Thursday, the FBI CJIS Division Complex held a Memorial Ceremony in Honor of Fallen West Virginia Law Enforcement for eight years.
The somber ceremony is for family members, FBI employees, and other law enforcement. The event is a way to bring closure while celebrating the lives of the fallen officers."
"We are a family and we're all suffering. So when we see them in the crowd, and we're up there talking, we know each other," said Captain James Merrill, of the West Virginia State Police. "We know them, we know them like my mom and dad."
The ceremony included musical selections and Honor Roll of more than 100 West Virginia Law Enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
"The FBI, first and foremost, is a law enforcement agency," said David Cuthbertson, the Assistant Director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division. "It's part of what we do to as the FBI family is honor those in state federal and local law enforcement who have given their lives."
Each officers name is added to the law enforcement memorial at CJIS.
"We put new names on that stone every year, regrettably," said Cuthbertson. "It's just our family saying thank you to the families of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice."
The death of a fellow officer can be hard on those still on duty. The Wellness Officer and Chaplain is able to discuss things with officers to help them get closure.
"We're able to go to him in a confidential way and discuss those types of things with him," said Captain Merrill. "I think that seems to help with some of the stress, and questions the troopers may have. It's been a blessing in disguise having that position."
Captain Merrill and Corporal Jim Mitchell of the State Police were both guest speakers at the ceremony.
State Police also placed a wreath at the memorial site with each fallen officers name.