GOSHEN—Law enforcement officers from around the county gathered at the Orange County Courthouse in Goshen on a blustery Dec. 19 to place wreaths on the two memorials outside the courthouse entrance. The monuments are dedicated to 26 Orange County law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
Michael McGinn, president of the Jason Conklin Memorial Lodge #957 of Fraternal Order of Police, said the annual ritual was started a few years ago to let families of fallen officers know they and the departed officer have not been forgotten.
“We do this to honor the memory of the officers and troopers that have made the ultimate sacrifice, and as a reminder that their families and loved ones continue to feel the pain of their loss, especially during the holiday season,” he said.
McGinn said the wreaths were not only for the families. “It’s also for the public. This is a reminder that these officers are out there keeping the community safe, and they made the ultimate sacrifice.”
District Attorney David Hoovler joined the officers at the courthouse ceremony, then accompanied two officers to Port Jervis to place wreaths at the graves of Port Jervis officers. Hoovler expressed his appreciation to the Lodge #957 for their efforts.
“I thank the Fraternal Order of Police for their efforts in giving all of us the opportunity to recognize those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe.” He pledged the support of his office for the county’s law enforcement officers in their sometimes dangerous work.
The wreaths are decorated with a distinctive blue ribbon. After a prayer and short statements by McGinn and Hoovler, police officers and state troopers received wreaths from a truck filled with decorated wreaths, then left for gravesites of their fallen brothers.
Hoovler said families tend to visit the graves this time of year. “They will see that these gentlemen have remembered them.” He noted that some gravesites might be in other parts of the state. “Wherever their graves are, they will go out today.”
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