"Their duty was to serve. Our duty is to remember."
This is the statement inscribed on the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial and the reason a Bellingham Police Honor Guard team were formed. To remember and give honor to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to their community.
The Bellingham Police Honor Guard was formed in early 1980. The first Officer Down service they attended was King County Sergeant Samuel Hicks, who was shot and killed when checking for homicide suspect who open fired on the Sgt Hicks, killing him. The original members were Lieutenant Richard Sucee, Crime Scene Investigator David Wright , Officer Ron Parsons, Lieutenant Michael Johnston, and Sergeant David Richards, all of whom are retired now.
Our primary mission is to attend all line of duty death services in Washington State, British Columbia, Northern Oregon and Western Idaho. The teams also attends the funerals of retired Bellingham Police Department members and military members from our community who have died in service to their country.
The secondary mission of the team is the presentation of colors at public functions such as the Blossomtime Parade, 9/11 Memorial, and other events as needed or requested.
Several members have also attended events in Washington DC for National Law Enforcement Memorial Police Week in May. The team escorted dignitaries for the candlelight vigil, was part of a flag detail, and formed an Honor Cordon for President George W. Bush in 2005.
"When a police officer is killed, it's not an agency that loses an officer, it's an entire nation." - Chris Cosgriff, ODMP Founder