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Fallen Marion County law officers remembered

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An honor guard fires a 21-gun salute during an annual ceremony to honor fallen law officers in Marion County Friday. An honor guard fires a 21-gun salute during an annual ceremony to honor fallen law officers in Marion County Friday.
COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) -

The eight Marion County law enforcement officers who've lost their lives in the line of duty were remembered in an annual ceremony Friday morning. It included the laying of a wreath at a fallen officers' memorial at the Marion County Courthouse. It also featured an honor guard rifle salute and the playing of Taps.

Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall and Columbia Police Chief Clint McMurry also presented roses to the fallen officers' family members who attended.

"This is what we owe anybody that gives their life, whether it be a fireman, policeman, serviceman or whoever," said Hall. "They died protecting us and giving us a free country to live in and be able to lay down at night and not worry, so this is the least we can do for them," he said. 

"They actually gave the ultimate sacrifice," said McMurry. "There's nothing that we can do to pay them back for that, but what little we can do is honor them," he said.

Officers who died in the line of duty include:

Sheriff J.V. Polk, killed on April 22, 1960, Officer Leonard Conerly, killed on Dec. 7, 1978, Deputy Jerry Bryant, killed on Jan. 5, 1984, Officer Wayne Henebry, killed on May 8, 1989, Officer Billy D. Patterson, killed on May 8, 1989, Deputy Edgar Harrell, killed on June 1, 1997, Officer Danny Sellers, killed on Aug. 8, 1998 and Deputy Vernon L. Long, killed on Aug. 31, 2002.

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