UPDATE: Fallen officers honored with vigil, blue Capitol dome

1 year 2 months 1 week ago Saturday, May 04 2019 May 4, 2019 Saturday, May 04, 2019 6:01:00 PM CDT May 04, 2019 in News
By: Isaac Jahns, & KaMaria Braye, KOMU 8 Reporters and Kyle McCubbin, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - The wife of a law enforcement officer who died in the line of duty says she will continue to honor and remember the legacy her husband left.

Saturday's Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial Service remembered members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty.

"What a great way to say thank you, we're behind you, we appreciate you, because the sacrifice isn't necessarily at the end of their career or duty. It's everyday that they sacrifice time with their loved ones to protect our loved ones," Officer Dawn Hewitt said.

Ashley Chism attended the ceremony with her son and mother-in-law. She honored her husband Matthew Chism, who was shot and killed following a traffic stop in 2014.

"Matthew is our hero. We've been coming every year for five years now. It means everything because Matt meant everything to us," Chism said.

On Friday the MO COPS, or Missouri Chapter of the National Concerns of Police Survivors, honored fallen officers at a candlelight vigil at Saint Peter Catholic Church in Jefferson City.

Denise Strittmatter's husband, Ronald Strittmatter, died in 2015.

"Being a widow myself, of a police officer who died in the line of duty, sometimes not even saying anything is just what they need. Just being there for them," she said.

Hewitt said the organization helps grieving families heal.

"They help each other grow through it, so it's kind of like when people go through battle together, these people have lost people together. They help each other heal, which makes them tight. It's like tight-knit family," she said.

In addition, the Capitol's dome bathed in blue light beginning Friday night.

In a news release, Gov. Mike Parson said the dome will be lit blue for the next week.

"Illuminating the Capitol and Law Enforcement Memorial blue is just one small way for us to show our sincere thanks to these brave men and women,” he said.

The Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial celebrated its 25th year anniversary.

Over 700 fallen officers have their names engraved at the memorial.

Nine officers' names were added Saturady.

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