Fallen Officer Memorial Ceremony held at Walker Sayle Unit
Stephens County and Breckenridge law enforcement and government officials joined employees of the TDCJ Walker Sayle Unit Thursday morning for a memorial ceremony to honor fallen correctional officers. The event was part of National Correctional Officer Week.
Near the stage, set up under a large tent on the prison grounds, was a small round table called the “Missing Officer” table and an empty chair. Displayed on the table were several items that symbolized the “Missing Officer."
Standing on the stage, TDCJ Captain Deborah Plunk read aloud an explanation of what each of the items on the table represented.
“Set for one, the empty place represents Correctional Staff who have given their lives in the line of duty defending society while maintaining incarcerated felons.
“The table is round to show our everlasting concern for our missing loved ones.
“The tablecloth is white, which symbolizes the purity of their motives while answering the call of duty. The sword symbolizes honor.
“The single red rose displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of these missing loved ones and friends of these correctional staff who keep the faith.
“The vase and yellow ribbon. The vase is tied with a yellow ribbon, a symbol of our continued determination to remember and ‘take care of our own.’
“A slice of lemon reminds us of the bitter fate of those killed or crippled while protecting society.
“A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.
“The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those of us that continue on.
“The glass inverted symbolizes their inability to share this day’s toast.
“The chair is empty. They are missing."
Also during the ceremony there was a Roll Call of all TDCJ Officers who have died in the line of duty and officers from across the nation who have died during the past year. As each name was read off, Jerry Davidson rang a bell.