Fallen officers honored at Capitol
SALT LAKE CITY – It was a somber day in Salt Lake City as law enforcement from all over Utah paid tribute to fallen officers. They gathered for the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service on the state Capitol grounds.
One of the names on the wall of fallen officers is Aaron Beesley. His mother, Laretta, says he died in 2012 from falling from a cliff near Mount Olympus after rescuing someone.
“He gave his life in a rescue. He should not be forgotten. He’s a hero,” she says.
Beesley says she has grown very close with the other families who come to the yearly event honoring fallen officers. “That’s why we come every time. We notice when somebody isn’t here, when a family isn’t here, and we wonder where they are,” she adds.
Utah Law Enforcement Memorial Vice President Robert Kirby says he began to fight for the memorial after learning about certain officers who died in the line of duty, and he never heard about it.
“I don’t believe that we should just mourn their deaths, but also give thanks that such people lived,” according to Kirby.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera was the keynote speaker at the memorial. She’s convinced that the sacrifices made by the people being memorialized will never be forgotten. She was glad that the list of names didn’t get longer in 2017.
“I feel a sense of relief. The relief that since the last time we convened at this memorial, our state did not experience the loss of a brother or sister in the state of Utah,” Rivera says.