Memorial service in Jackson honors 17 line-of-duty deaths
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DOWNTOWN JACKSON, Tenn. — A somber memorial draws hundreds to honor 17 fallen law enforcement officers Friday in downtown Jackson. The ceremony was part of National Police Memorial Day. “It’s the only time of year that we get to honor our brothers and sisters,” retired Jackson Police Officer Jamie Blankenship said. For many of these men and women, memories are all that’s left from their fallen brothers and sisters. “Very few days go by that I don’t think about Andy,” Blankenship said. These friends, family and officers have come together to honor 17 line-of-duty deaths from across West Tennessee since 1876. “Seems like everybody just takes it for granted as an easy job, but they have a real hard job — a lot of stress on them,” retired deputy James Latta said. “And I like to just come out and honor them.” The family of Tennessee Trooper Lynn Ross who died in an on-duty car accident sat in the front row with tears in their eyes. “I say it’s not happy and I’m not sad, but through it all God has been mighty good to me,” Netha Ross, mother of Lynn, said. Even though Trooper Ross laid his life on the line for his job, his mother says she’s thankful he took the oath to protect and serve. “I’m very proud, very proud, because I know the test wasn’t easy,” Ross said. The annual ceremony culminated with a delicate flower and an honorary salute followed with final shots. “We come out to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” Blankenship said. “It’s a blessed time, but it’s also a very sad time.” The first line-of-duty death recorded by the Jackson Police Department was Officer Newton Perkins who died in July of 1876.