ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester took time this evening to remember those who lost their lives, while working to keep our lives safe. The 2019 Law Enforcement Memorial Service honored those lives at Soldiers Field Memorial Park Friday evening.
The memorial was a packed event, from a color guard, to bell ringing – all to honor law enforcement member lost in the line of duty.
The annual service doesn’t only honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but also to support their families, coworkers and departments still grieving. A total of 23,719 officers have fallen in the line of duty across the United States; one of which is formers Hayfield Police Chief Douglas Claassen.
In 1977 Claassen responded to a call that left him with a severe neck injury. The injury eventually killed him in 1999. Friday’s ceremony paid special tribute to Claassen, with his wife Kathy sitting in the front row.
“You know, it’s not an easy job,” Kathy said. “When you’re working with a 911 call, and the dispatch…until you’ve sat in that chair, you don’t have a clue.”
Kathy adds that it’s fantastic to remember fallen heroes and that she is thankful for the time she did have with her husband.
Kathy also worked in law enforcement, serving for 37 years.