Winston-Salem, NC - The North Carolina Peace Officers Memorial Day Ceremony was held Tuesday in Winston-Salem, and during the ceremony six fallen officers from across the state of North Carolina were honored, including Winston-Salem Police Department's own Russell Willingham, Jr.
Willingham died in the line of duty on July 30, 2011. His father, Russell Willingham, Sr., was at the ceremony and spoke to News 2 about the loss of his son.
Willingham said, "It's an everyday struggle. Everyday, you wake up and you realize that child you held hands with, the boy you wake up and you watch grow to a man is gone."
The Winston-Salem Police Department also hold their own memorial for fallen officers. Every year on the year year anniversary of the death of the eighteen officers the department has lost, they place a ceremonial wreath at the memorial and an honor guard stands by the wreath from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
The ceremony was started on the one year anniversary of the death fo Sergeant Mickey Hutchens. Hutchens was shot while responding to a domestic violence call at a restaurant in October of 2009.
The next scheduled ceremony is next Saturday, May 19, when Michael Vickers will be honored. Vickers died in the line of duty on May 19, 1895.
Next week is Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15tth.
The High Point Police Department are holding several events to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day, including a Memorial Run, Memorial Service and Candlelight Vigil, and a golf tournament. For more information on these events, contact the High Point Police at 336-883-3224.