By Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Thirteen Airmen from the 50th Security Forces Squadron teamed up with Airmen from the 21st Security Forces Squadron and 721st Security Forces Squadron May 20 at America the Beautiful Park for the 18th Annual Pikes Peak Region Peace Officer’s Memorial Day Service.
On May 7, 2010, the White House proclaimed May 9 through 15 of every year “police week,” and challenged every American to, “honor their extraordinary service, sacrifice as we remember the fallen heroes whose selfless acts have left behind safer streets and stronger communities.”
President Barack Obama called upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and these Colorado Springs Airmen relished the opportunity to pay homage to their fallen civilian counterparts.
“It’s important for Air Force Security Forces members to participate in this memorial,” said Tech. Sgt. Carl Noeller, 50 SFS Peace Officer’s Memorial Day Service point of contact. “Since I’ve worked at Schriever we’ve had two local law enforcement officers killed, both were Colorado Springs police officers. It just all hits home that we are all one family. If we need support from El Paso county, they’ll be here.”
These local Airmen comprised a military flight to show their respects to the fallen officers and serve as a visual reminder of the partnership between military bases and the local area.
“There is a separation between the two of us because we’re two different jurisdictions, but we’re all one team,” Sergeant Noeller said.
Some Airmen realized that even though the civilian police officers dress in a different uniform when they go to work, their jobs aren’t so different.
“This event is important because it helps me understand that the civilian officers do the same job that we do,” said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Vargas, 50 SFS and Pikes Peak Region Peace Officer’s Memorial Day Service participant.
Twenty eight gaping holes in the formation were noticed when the names of the fallen polices officers were read during a roll call. Though Schriever hasn’t lost a security forces member in the line of duty for more than 13 years, some Airmen took solace in the congruencies and sacrifices brought to light as the 18th annual service came to a close.
“Hearing the bagpipes play was emotionally moving,” Airman Vargas said. “You realize that law enforcement members are out there, in the streets and it’s the same job on Schriever. Being together helps us both understand that we’re all on the same page, going through the same things.”