AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - The legacies of two officers killed in the line of duty will live on, not only thanks to their sacrifices, but thanks to a college campus.
Thursday, Georgia Southwestern State University officially renamed the building housing the Department of Public Safety, the "Nicholas Smarr & Jody Smith Memorial Building."
The message most expressed by officials and family members at the ceremony, was that no one will let Officer Nick Smarr and Officer Jody Smith's sacrifice be forgotten.
"I think our challenge this morning is to make sure we remember not just the sacrifice that these two men made, but the heroes that they were and more importantly, the legacy that they've given us through the lives that they lived," said Americus Police Chief Mark Scott.
It was a somber Thursday morning on Georgia Southwestern State University's Campus.
"They just had so much enthusiasm," said Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith. "I'll never forget this day as long as I live."
Both family members and law enforcement officials came with a message of remembrance for Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr and Georgia Southwestern State University Campus Safety Officer Jody Smith.
"They loved their families. They loved their friends. They loved their girlfriends. They loved their profession. They loved their coworkers," said Chief Scott.
"It's just so overwhelming what they're doing for our sons," said Sgt. Sharron Johnson, Officer Smith's mother.
As the Department of Public Safety building's new name was unveiled, the officers' families looked on with pride.
"As long as we honor their legacy and the lives that they chose to live, they will not be forgotten," said Chief Scott.
"By naming this building the Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith Memorial Building, we ensure their sacrifice will not be swept away by time or simply forgotten," said GSW's Public Safety Director, Chief Mike Tracy.
It was a day to remember these best friends, remember their sacrifice and remember their faith.
"I will see my son again one day. I have that hope because God gives it to me," said Sgt. Johnson.
"We know, at one point in time, by the grace of God on our judgment day, We'll see Nick again," said Danny Smarr, Officer Smarr's father.
Officer Smith's mother also recalled the story of how Officer Smarr gave his friend, Officer Smith, CPR after that shooting that took both their lives, saying Smarr and Smith did everything together.
The officers' friendship brought their families comfort on this emotional day.
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