PETAL, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi Highway Patrol honored its fallen troopers with ceremonies across the state Sunday.
The memorial services were held at the graves of fallen troopers across the state at 2 p.m. Members of Troop J joined at Hillcrest Cemetery in Petal to lay a wreath and honor fallen trooper Danny Nash.
"They made the ultimate sacrifice and for them to have done that, we want to make sure we come here every year to remember them," Brent Barfield said. "Remember their families. You know, their families are still part of MHP."
Barfield said Nash was a dispatcher at Troop J early on.
"His goal in life was to wear the Mississippi Highway Patrol uniform and to get out and enforce the law to help people," Barfield said. "My understanding, talking to his family, that was the kind of man he was."
Nash was shot and killed during a traffic stop on February 4, 1983. He had been a trooper for just 51 days.
"His mother and father have told me numerous times and that's all he wanted to do and he succeeded," Barfield said. "Only to parish 51 days later, and we never want to forget that."
In September of 2016, Nash's parents donated his uniform and hat to MHP. Barfield said those items will remain at Troop J Headquarters where Nash's photo hangs, alongside other fallen heroes.
"Their families are still part of MHP, and we want them to know we aren't going to forget about our fallen brothers," Barfield said.
The annual ceremonies honor 26 troopers and four Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics officers who died while on duty. Four of the troopers honored are in the Hattiesburg Troop-J District.