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Memorial Honoring Fallen Law Enforcement Officers in Watauga Complete, Event Planned for July 26

The memorial to honor fallen officers in Watauga County is complete. Photos by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

July 16, 2014. The fallen law enforcement officer memorial at the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office is complete and a grand opening of sorts is scheduled for July 26.

The finishing touches of stacking some rock above two drainage grates were done today.

The china black memorial has the words: “Let us hold in honored memory the law enforcement officers who gave their lives protecting and serving the citizens of Watauga County. It is not how these officers died that made them heroes. It is how they lived.”

Six names are scribed on the memorial. The four who died in the line of duty are Hill Hagaman with the Boone Police Department; William Greene with the Blowing Rock Police Department; Robert Kennedy with the Boone Police Department and most recently William Mast Jr. of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office who died while responding to a domestic altercation near Deep Gap two years ago.

Two others died while actively serving: John Knapp of the Boone Police Department and Patrick Baker of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.

“I hate the fact that it exists,” T.A. Julian with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, who was standing outside looking at the memorial on Wednesday. “It’s long overdue.”

The ideal for the memorial came about after Mast was killed in the line of duty and the sheriff’s department realized it didn’t even have a flagpole to fly at half-staff.

In addition to the memorial, three flagpoles were installed that fly the American flag, the State of North Carolina flag and a black flag that is a law officer memorial flag.

Details of the July 26 event haven’t been finalized. Those will be published as soon as possible.

More details on the memorial, check out previous articles:

March 20, 2014. County Staff Breaks Ground on Fallen Officer Memorial Being Built at the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office

May 6, 2014. Construction of the Watauga County Law Enforcement Memorial Project by County, Town Staff Continues

The china black memorial has six names on it.
Deputies stand outside the sheriff’s office and talk about the memorial.
Now the sheriff’s office has flagpoles to fly flags at half-staff.
Six names are on the memorial.