WASHINGTON, D.C. (WALB) - Two South Georgia law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year are being recognized on a national scale.
The names of Americus Police officer Nick Smarr and GSW officer Jody Smith are now on the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The cry of bagpipes sounded as families, friends and partners in law enforcement saw the names, for the first time, of those killed while serving their communities.
"Ambushed 21 of them," Craig W. Floyd, NLEOMF President, said. "Assassinated because of the job they do and the uniform they wear."
Among them now on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial are Smith and Smarr.
"Its been very emotional," said Americus Police Chief Mark Scott.
Scott said he spent some time with Nick and Jody's families, and he himself has reflected on the loss.
"We located their names on the wall and did some etchings," Scott said. "Met some of the officers that rode a great distance in their name."
That distance, to be exact, was 250 miles.
More than two thousand Police Unity Tour riders fought wet weather and bitter cold temperatures in honor of those lost in the line of duty.
"Its overwhelming," cyclist Ken Jacoby said. "Its emotional. It's kind of hard to keep dry eyes."
His group of bikers who pedaled from New Jersey said officers like Nick and Jody are the reason they make the trip year-after-year.
"I kind of do it for all the people that are back there mourning their family's loss," rider Kurt Horstman said. "They kind of, once the funeral and all the parades are done, kind of, its forgotten. Then, they come back down here and see hundreds of riders come in."
Hundreds of riders offering support for those with losses that stem from over decades ago to heart-aches as fresh as the ones dealt to family and friends of Smith and Smarr.
"We're going to be at every event we can possibly be at," Scott said. "I think it's been good for all of us and for the families just for the closure."
Closure that, despite the amount of time that has passed, may always be a challenge to find.
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