POINT PLEASANT — May 15 is Peace Officers Memorial Day and the Mason County Sheriff’s Department is commemorating the event by remembering their fallen brothers.
The event begins at noon in front of the Mason County Courthouse and all law enforcement in Mason County have been invited to attend in their Class A uniforms. The sheriff’s department also hopes the public will participate by attending to show their respect for the families who lost loved ones in the Mason County Jail Explosion in 1976.
Three law enforcement personnel who died as a result of the jail explosion were Deputy Kenneth W. “Kenny” Love, Sheriff Elvin E. “Pete” Wedge and Jailer Ernest “Ernie” R. Hesson. As reported earlier, the Mason County Sheriff’s Department and local Deputy’s Association have decided to upgrade the area where the monument dedicated to these three men rests. This work will all be done with donations and volunteer labor and include pouring a new concrete pad around the monument to make it more of a mini-park complete with a sidewalk and bench on the corner of Viand and Sixth Streets.
Eventually this memorial park will also include a lamp post sitting near the monument which will burn a blue light bulb to represent law enforcement personnel. So far, thanks to volunteer labor, excavation work has been done around the monument to smooth out the dirt in preparation for the concrete. At the moment, there’s a need for donations to purchase the bench and shrubs for the mini-park, among other items. Members of the local Deputy Sheriff’s Association will take over the care of the memorial and park.
National Police Week is May 12 - 18. Back in 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Mason County’s observance will be one of many across the country with tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converging on Washington, DC that week for a national memorial service.
In addition to the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, other local law enforcement agencies which have been invited to the local Peace Officers Memorial Day event include: West Virginia State Police, West Virginia Park Ranger, W.Va. Department of Natural Resources, Point Pleasant Police Department, Henderson Police Department, Mason Police Department, Hartford Police Department, New Haven Police Department.