A fourth tragedy will be on the minds of anyone attending a memorial event Thursday in honor of three law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Three officers who died in 2010 and 2011 will be remembered by family, friends and community members in at the Oregon Public Safety Academy located at 4190 Aumsville Highway in southeast Salem.
They are: Lake Oswego Police Chief Daniel K. Duncan, who died of a heart attack following an arrest; City of Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter, shot by a suspect; and Independence Police Officer Roger Lloyd, who died from long-term complications of an on-duty vehicle accident.
These men's names will be added to Oregon's memorial wall with the names of 169 other fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty since the 1880s.
The fourth name would be that of Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilkullen, who was shot by a traffic stop suspect on April 22, 2011, in Springfield.
"The memorial wall is a reminder of the courage and dedication our public safety officers show every day in communities across Oregon," said Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Indeed, our police officers work long hours for modest pay to keep us safe, never knowing when they will be placed in personal danger.
During the month of May, hundreds of similar memorial events will be held throughout the country in addition to the National Law Enforcement Memorial annual Candlelight Vigil scheduled this year on May 13. The Candlelight Vigil is one of many events honoring America's fallen law enforcement officers during National Police Week, May 15-21.
Our sympathies go out to the family and colleagues of Ralph Painter, Roger Lloyd and Daniel Duncan, as well as to Chris Kilcullen, who will be mentioned at the ceremony this week.
Kilkullen's name will be added to the memorial in 2012. Let us hope that his is the only name we memorialize next year.