FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Gerald Watts of Hattiesburg comes to the Forrest County Sheriff's Office Law Enforcement Memorial served as a memorial site for those who lost their lives in the line of duty year after year to honor a loved one.
"My brother Johnny B. Watts," said Gerald.
Johnny B. Watts hadn't been in law enforcement for a year when he died in a traffic accident while he was on duty in December of 1976.
"It's very emotional. I'm glad they have it every year. I miss my brother, but he was doing what he wanted to do in life," said Gerald.
Five fallen officers were remembered for their ultimate sacrifice: Howard Lee Hagwood, Stewart G. Coates, Frederick (Cotton) Humphrey, Johnny B. Watts, and John R. Klem lll .
Those who know the dangers of the job first hand say the grieving for these officers never end.
"You grieve. I grieve for the community. I grieve for my law enforcement , and I grieve for my department. The officers give their life everyday for our citizens. We have to always remember," said Hattiesburg Police Chief, Frazier Bolton.
"These families have gone through so much, so we just want to let them know that their loved ones are never forgotten," said Forrest County Chief Deputy Sheriff, Charles Bolton.
Retired Fifth Circuit Court Appeals Judge in New Orleans, Charles Pickering spoke at the memorial and says he was honored to give reverence to those who gave their lives for their duty.
"We have men and women who are willing to dedicate themselves as law enforcement officers. So, to pay tribute to those who have given their lives so that we might enjoy the American dream is entirely appropriate," said Pickering.