Fallen Columbia officer honored at dedication ceremony
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia gathered to celebrate the life of its only officer to die in the line of duty.
Police officers, fire fighters and community leaders gathered at the Boone Hospital Nifong Medical Plaza Wednesday, to celebrate the life of fallen officer Molly Bowden.
On January 10, 2005 Molly Bowden was shot while conducting a traffic stop at the corner of Nifong and Forum Boulevard. She died a month later.
The Boone Hospital Board of Trustees, as well as Bowden's family, collaborated on the project.
“I think that we’ve been able to really turn this park into something that celebrates her life, and something that celebrates the men and women who protect us every single day," said Fred Parry, Chairman of the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees. “This park really captures her personality. Very joyful person, very strong-willed person.”
Parry knew Bowden, and remembers her for her dedication to the Columbia community.
“She was the kind of person that would step up and serve, and so this is a very fitting tribute," Parry said.
Bowden's husband Corey helped create the park. He is in awe of the outcome.
“It’s really unimaginable for me, I didn’t expect anything like this to every develop," Bowden said.
However, he said his wife would've been overwhelmed if she were here to see it.
“She wouldn’t want all this attention. She’d probably be embarrassed to be here," Bowden said. "But, she’d also be honored and probably just impressed beyond belief at how it’s turned out.”
He remembers his wife for her dedication to her duty as an officer.
“Getting out and helping people, you know, giving back to the community and ensuring her part – doing what she can do to make the community a safer place to live," Bowden said.
The park was purposely placed in close proximity to where Bowden was killed on the corner of Nifong Boulevard and Forum Boulevard. Bowden was 26 years old when she died. She had been in the police force for three years.