Four members of the Meridian Police Department have been killed in the line of duty since 1888. The first was James Collins. Eugene white died in 1908. The next was Jim Culpepper in 1910. Those four, along with fallen Officer James Charles Coswell, a Meridian native who lost his life in service with the Houston, Texas Police Department, were remembered by fellow law enforcement officers at the Doughboy Monument in Meridian.
For many, like Martha Boswell, mother of James Boswell, the memorial brings back painful memories, but she says it's necessary.
"If they are not honored, if they're not remembered, then the time they spent on earth and the time they spent as a police officer was in vain," Boswell said.
May 15 is a day set aside by the U.S. Congress to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. State Sen. Videt Carmichael said police officers don't take freedom from us; they help us keep the freedom we have.
"Our freedoms, we enjoy them every day, and people in law enforcement and other areas, today we're honoring law enforcement, have given their lives so we can enjoy those freedoms," said Carmichael, the guest speaker.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said the memorial is also for those officers who have taken their own lives, because of the stress the job puts on them.
"The area of law enforcement, be it city, county, state, or federal, there's a tremendous amount of pressure the general public never knows about," Sollie said.
That's the reason people gathered in meridian, and across the nation this week, to honor those who have fallen, and to lift up those who put it all on the line every day to
Protect and serve.