28th Fallen Heroes Day
On Friday, May 3, 2013, hundreds of law enforcement officers and firefighters, dignitaries and members of the community, family and friends will gather at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens for the 28th Annual Fallen Heroes Day, a day set-aside to honor and remember those who died in the line of duty. The 1:00 p.m. ceremony, which honors those whose deaths have been declared “line of duty” during the past year, is the only statewide ceremony in the nation that brings together all segments of the public safety community. Fallen Heroes Day salutes police and correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical and rescue personnel who risk their lives everyday to protect the citizens of Maryland.
Since the May 2012 Fallen Heroes Day ceremony the deaths of five police officers, one correctional officer and one firefighter have been designated as line of duty. They are:
• Deputy First Class Teresa L. Testerman, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, November 29, 2010*
• Firefighter Christopher M. Staley, Cobb Island VFD, August 6, 2011*
• Officer William D. Talbert, Montgomery County Police Department, January 27, 2012*
• Private First Class Officer Adrian Morris, Prince George’s County Police Department, August 20, 2012
• Officer Forrest Taylor, Baltimore Police Department, August 29, 2012
• Corporal Charles B. Licato, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, September 6, 2012
• Sergeant Ian A. Loughran, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, September 13, 2012
* Line-of-duty designation declared since May 2012
The 28th Annual Fallen Heroes Day ceremony will begin with a procession of more than 25 honor guard units from across the state, police motorcycle and mounted units, bagpipers and drummers. Elected leaders including, Governor Martin O’Malley and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz will give memorial addresses. Former Baltimore Orioles catcher and 1983 World Series MVP Rick Dempsey will be the special guest speaker and Mary Beth Marsden (WBAL Radio) will serve as the emcee. Additionally, Casey Brooks, the daughter of Corporal Courtney Brooks, honored as a Fallen Hero in 2008, will share a remembrance of her father. During the ceremony, the families of the 2013 Fallen Heroes will be presented with a replica of the Fallen Heroes memorial and the families of two previous fallen heroes (one police officer, one firefighter) will be presented with Governor’s Proclamations.
“Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens is privileged to be the home of Maryland’s Fallen Heroes Memorial,” said John O. Mitchell, III, Chairman of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. “Beyond honoring those who have died in the line duty during the past year, Fallen Heroes Day provides an opportunity for the citizens of Maryland to take time to show appreciation and respect for the dedicated public servants who risk their lives each day when they report to work.”
In 1976, 330 burial spaces at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens were set-aside for fallen heroes and their spouses by John Armiger, Sr., founder of the cemetery. In 1986 John Armiger, Jr. established the tradition of honoring those who have given their lives for the community in the only statewide ceremony for fallen heroes. In June 2007, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens was purchased by John O. Mitchell, III of the family-owned Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home in Rodgers Forge/Towson, MD. The Mitchell family is proud to continue the tradition of Fallen Heroes Day. Sixty-five members of the public safety community are buried at the Fallen Heroes Memorial.
Keeping with tradition, Governor Martin O’Malley has issued a proclamation declaring May 3, 2013 as Fallen Heroes Day in Maryland and has ordered flags flown at half-staff at the State House and all state facilities. During the service, a replica of the Fallen Heroes Memorial and a resolution from the Maryland General Assembly will be presented to the families of the fallen heroes being honored this year.
The Fallen Heroes Memorial is located within Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 East Padonia Road, Timonium, MD 21093.