Hed: Local wreath-laying ceremonies to honor fallen officers
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
JACKSON – Fallen Mississippi Highway Patrol and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics officers will be honored today at 10 a.m. during memorial services in Jackson.
Families of those officers will join MHP and MNB officials during the Peace Officers Memorial Day Service at the Department of Public Safety Headquarters.
Simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies are planned for 2 p.m. Sunday at the cemeteries where the 23 Highway patrol troopers and three MBN agents are buried. Special details and honor guard members will lay wreaths on the graves at cemeteries throughout the state.
The public is invited to attend today’s and Sunday’s ceremonies.
“We will never let the memory of these officers die,” said Col. Jimmy Stringer, Highway Patrol director. “They laid down their lives for us. Their families deserve to be recognized for their sacrifice.”
May 12-18 is being celebrated as Police Week in Mississippi. In making the proclamation, Gov. Kirk Fordice said, “Officers of law enforcement agencies in Mississippi play an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of this state’s citizens.”
Area Highway Patrol officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, their cause of death, and their grave sites include:
– Herbert E. Nixon, died April 22, 1951, auto accident, buried at Forked Oak Cemetery at Paden.
– Daniel E. Smith, died Nov. 7, 1959, auto accident, buried at Clarkson Cemetery in Clarkson.
– Julian Davis, died Nov. 27, 1963, auto accident, buried at Drew Cemetery at Drew.
– Joe Clay, died May 27, 1974, auto accident, buried at Memorial Cemetery at Louisville.
– Tommie Owens, died July 28, 1989, train/auto accident, buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Pheba.
– Bobby L. Wells Jr., died June 27, 1995, pedestrian/auto accident, buried at Enon Cemetery at Ackerman.
MBN officers killed in the line of duty include:
– Lane Caldwell, died Sept. 14, 1979, gunshot wound, buried in Pleasant Hills Cemetery at Kossuth.
– Robert H. McLeod, died Sept. 23, 1989, auto accident, buried in Memorial Cemetery at Louisville.
– Spencer Glen Beckley Sr., died Dec. 23, 1989, auto accident, buried at Pittsboro Cemetery at Pittsboro.