Annual ceremony held for fallen law enforcement officers
JEFFERSON CITY - Two officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2014 will be honored this weekend.
A candlelight vigil was held Friday night for the fallen law enforcement officers on the grounds of the State Capitol.
On Satuday, the names of Alton Police Department Officer Eddie Johnson Jr. and Cedar County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew S. Chism will be added to the Memorial Wall during a ceremony.
The two police officers died in 2014.
Wendy Viers is the Missouri Cops Chapter President and said the purpose of the ceremonies is to give the community the opportunity to remember the fallen officers.
"The single most important thing is that they are never forgotten, " said Viers. "We don't forget. They gave their lives, they did the ultimate sacrifice and we are here to remember that and support the community. "
Vier's brother was a Missouri State Trooper and passed away in 2011.
"It's very emotional being here. It's also an incredible feeling when everyone else remembers it. You are not the only one."
Viers said she is happy to be Missouri Cops Chapter President and thanks her brother.
"It's the last gift my brother gave me, to give me an organization to lean on and to be with and to go through life without him."
Attorney General Chris Koster is scheduled to speak Saturday during the ceremony at the memorial wall.
On Oct. 20th, 2014 Alton Police Officer Eddie Johnson Jr. was killed in a vehicle accident when responding in his patrol vehicle to a residential fire west of Alton, Mo. He was a ten year veteran of the law enforcement and served in the Alton Police Department for nine years. He was also a chief volunteer of the Alton Fire Department.
Johnson's wife Venita Johnson held a candle for her husband at the vigil. She said she hopes the ceremony would give her some closure.
"He was devoted. He was dedicated to his community, his family and his town," said Johnson.
Cedar County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Chism died from a gunshot wound following a car pursuit, foot chase and shootout on Nov. 2, 2014 in El Dorado Springs, Mo. He was deputy for just under two years.
Gunfire has caused the most police officer deaths in Missouri history with a total 389 deaths.
To donate to the Officer Down Memorial Page please visit their website here.
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