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Service to honor local 'fallen heroes'

A special service will take place on Thursday, May 5, 2022. At 11 a.m. that morning the Fallen Heroes Memorial at Raper-Roark Park in Shelby will host the Memorial of Fallen Heroes. The service will recognize local law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

"National Law Enforcement Week runs May 11-17 this year, but we will be marking the occasion a little early," says Shelby Police Department Chaplain Glen Davenport. According to Davenport, members of our local law enforcement community will be meeting up with others from North Carolina to participate in the Road to Hope - a bike ride to Washington DC. Numerous activities are slated to take place in the nation's capital to commemorate Law Enforcement Week.

"We decided to have our event a little early this year so that the bike riders would have plenty of time to make their trek to Washington," says Davenport.

The Shelby event will be highly ceremonial, with the presentation of roses and memorial coins to the families of fallen officers, along with an honor guard service. All area law enforcement agencies will be participating in the service and honor guard, including the Cleveland County Sheriff's Department and the Shelby, Kings Mountain and Boiling Springs police departments and the NC State Highway Patrol.

A luncheon will be hosted by the Civitans at the Don Gibson Theater in honor of law enforcement officers. After the ceremony and luncheon, several local officers will be departing from the Don Gibson Theater to participate in the Road to Hope. This group will be led by Stephen Brackeen, brother of Shelby Police Officer Timothy Brackeen, who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 12, 2016. The local group will travel to Raleigh to ultimately join up with 400-500 riders from across the country. From Raleigh the group will be riding 100-125 miles per day on route to the 34th Annual Candlelight Vigil for Fallen Officers, which will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2022, on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America's law enforcement community.

Raper-Roark Park is located at
303 S Lafayette Street in Shelby. For more information about the Cleveland County Memorial for Fallen Heroes, contact Glen Davenport at gdavenport2@carolina.rr.com or by calling 704-473-7299.

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