CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is recognizing officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Four officers have died in the line of duty in the county and Monday the department and others gathered for an annual memorial service.
The department laid a wreath at the Public Safety Monument in front of the Sheriff's Office in Christiansburg as a tribute to those who died in the line of duty last year across the country, but also as a special memory to the four officers killed in Montgomery County.
The bagpipes echoed off the brick walls at the intimate gathering on the sheriff's office front lawn. The 15th annual fallen officers memorial service is something Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin has always been a part of.
"It means everything to me, there's not much more that's any more important than this," Partin said.
Retired USAF Col. Richard "Rock" Roszak was the guest speaker. Although he never served in law enforcement, he's lived a similar life.
"We take an oath of office and we also serve with an unlimited liability clause in our contract, if you will," Roszak said.
Four officers have died in the line of duty in Montgomery County: Officers Terry Griffith and Scott Hylton of the Christiansburg Police Department, Corporal Eric Sutphin of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, and Officer Deriek Crouse of the Virginia Tech Police Department.
Roszak said they and the nearly 150 officers killed in 2018 across the country need not be forgotten.
"We need to honor those people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us and you honor them by never forgetting who they were and what they did," Roszak said.
A gun salute and playing of taps closed the program. But there's never any closure for those with pain left over.
"It's something that we will always do. It can happen to any of us at any time and we need to remember that there are families left behind; grieving widows, children, moms and dads and brothers and sisters," Partin said.
Next year will mark the 16th annual memorial service. Those in attendance are hoping no more names are added to the list.
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