Hundreds gathered at the Odessa Police Department Friday morning to remember our fallen officers, but it wasn't their annual memorial service. This was actually something that would change all of their memorials in the future. A statue was unveiled that depicts Michael, the archangel, cradling a fallen officer. To many people...it's just a statue, but to some...it's a reminder of those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.
"Today we are here to unveil the culmination of three years of work...a lasting tribute designed to honor and preserve the memory of Odessa's fallen law officers,” Odessa Mayor Larry Melton said Friday.
For local law enforcement officers and the residents of Odessa...this unveiling was more than just a ceremony.
"It just brings back those memories from those officers. Can't say enough about those guys. We miss them and we think about them everyday," Cpl. Tommy Jones, Odessa Police Department, said.
"Knowing all three of the officers who gave their lives in 2007, and having heard the stories of the ones who gave their lives prior to that...it's very moving. It's very touching. It's neat to see the way that the city of Odessa came together to back law enforcement," Nathan Scott, a former Odessa Police officer, said.
Hundreds of people were in attendance at the Odessa Police Department Friday, including political figures from across the state.
"To me, when I go by this memorial...I'll be reminded of these wonderful men and the sacrifice they made," Tryon Lewis, Texas Representative (District 81), said.
"It's hard to forget them, but this is just another memento of what they did for our city," Jones said.
A memento in the form of Archangel Michael, the chief of angelic beings who is traditionally known to protect humanity from all evil.
"It's absolutely beautiful. I'm very impressed. Very talented artist and I think it does the fallen officers of, not only the Odessa Police Department, but also the state of Texas...very due justice," Scott said.
The money for the statue was raised through the Odessa Peace Officers Memorial Foundation, which was formed in 2007 following the deaths of three Odessa police officers. The foundation has a facebook page, which currently reads, "May God be with us as we honor our fallen officers."