Fallen heroes honored at Pine Belt Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony

This week marks Police Week, and Pine Belt agencies took time to honor officers who died protecting and serving.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 8:05 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 8:06 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Wednesday morning, Pine Belt law enforcement agencies took time to honor officers who died while protecting and serving.

In reality, for those in the field as well as the families, National Police Week merely serves to underscore what they already carry with them.

“We have a saying ‘Never Forget,’ Hattiesburg Police Chief Peggy Sealy said. “Each and every day, we remember these officers, but (Wednesday), in particular, we remember all officers.”

Not a day goes by that Mary Ellen Deen and Yolander Ross don’t think about their sons.

Mary is the mother of Officer Benjamin J. Deen and Yolander is Officer Liquori Tate’s mother.

Both officers were killed in the line of duty.

“It’s been seven years (since) our boys were murdered at the same time on May 9, 2015,” Mary said. “We have become like family since that day.”

They were among the officers honored Wednesday at the Pine Belt Law Enforcement Memorial Day.

“There is that blue-line family, and we definitely feel a part of it now,” Mary said.

Just as the two mothers are bonded by the tragedy, so are the Hattiesburg Police Department and the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office.

Both agencies have lost several of their own, and tears fell as those 11 names were read aloud. The room was silent in solitude with those grieving.

Roses were placed as a symbol of the lives of all 11 officers. As the last rose was placed, all hoped to never have to add another one again.

“I pray and hope that we never have to place another rose in this vase going forward,” Sealy said. “I hope no family would have to go through living without their family members again.”

Leaders from HPD, FCSO, Petal Police Department, Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Southern Mississippi and Forrest General Hospital took part in the ceremony.

PHOTOS: Today, we honored the lives of the Pine Belt area's fallen law enforcement officers during the 2022 Joint Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony at the Lake Terrace Convention Center. #ThinBlueLine

Posted by Hattiesburg Police Department (Official) on Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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