Maryland memorial event honors public safety fallen heroes

  • staff photo by Sarah Pastrana Sergeant Jules Pritchard of the Maryland State Police laughs with Gabriella Ayala, who will be 2 years old in June. Ayala, a triplet, is the daughter of Hector Ayala of the Montgomery County Police. Ayala was killed in the line of duty in 2010 when his wife was pregnant with the triplets.
staff photo by Sarah Pastrana Sergeant Jules Pritchard of the… (Sarah Pastrana, Patuxent…)
May 04, 2012|By Ellie Kahn, The Baltimore Sun

Families stood in solidarity as a wreath was placed at Maryland's Fallen Heroes Memorial on Friday in honor of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

This year, the 27th annual memorial to Maryland's public safety workers honored Maryland State Trooper 1st Class Shaft S. Hunter, among others. Hunter died last year in a traffic accident.

"There are so-called heroes in sports, and then there are heroes in life," said Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh to those gathered at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium. "Those [sports] accomplishments pale in comparison to what … Hunter and all the men and women standing around this tent and in this audience accomplish every single day."

Bagpipes played "Amazing Grace," and the Baltimore County Police Department rifle team fired a 21-gun salute. Musical arrangements were presented by the Hereford High School chamber choir and other groups.

"They're a legacy to all of us," said Gov. Martin O'Malley, "of neighborhoods defended, of crimes averted, of homes protected, and another person's life made better. Their legacies will remain with us always. They are a testament to the fact that there are far more things that unite us than divide us."

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