Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials gathered in La Crescenta Monday to honor fallen comrades — a deputy who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call and a reserve deputy who drowned while trying reach flood victims.
Local and county officials honored the memories of Deputy David Horr and Reserve Deputy Charles Rea, who died in 1957 and 1969, respectively, at a new memorial at the Crescenta Valley station on Briggs Avenue.
Horr’s son, Don Sutton, said the dedication was a chance to find closure for an old wound.
“I never saw my dad again after he left for work that day, I never went to the cemetery, or memorial, this is my three-sixty back to La Cañada,” said Sutton, 61. “I’m pretty overwhelmed…thanks to the community members that gave time and monies to make this come to fruition, this is yours as well, you made it.”
L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca and Supervisor Mike Antonovich joined local station commander Capt. David Silverparre in dedicating the memorial, which he said was more about remembrance than mourning.
“Today’s event is not a memorial, I’m not wearing a ribbon,” Silversparre said. “It’s a dedication of this memorial, to remember all those who have given their lives in service.”
The memorial, built with $20,000 donated by local individuals and businesses,
is a semi-circular stone structure with a raised bronze sheriff’s star in its inner-paved area, and features a bronze plaque bearing the names of Horr and Rea.
Baca said he was touched by the outpouring of support from the community, and that just as Rea and Horr were already commemorated on memorials in Sacramento and Washington D.C., so would all deputies who fell in the line of duty be honored by this memorial.
“The tribute that is here in memory of the local fallen heroes is also one the nation will acknowledge,” Baca said.
Rea, who also served on the Montrose Search and Rescue team, was remembered by his wife, four children and about 20 other family members and friends. The rounded river rocks embedded in the memorial were gathered from the area where he died by current Montrose Search and Rescue members.
George Novinger, who was a search and rescue team captain when Rea died, said after the ceremony that he was happy to see his former team member memorialized after so many years.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s been 41 years,” Novinger said. “I’m surprised they would do something 41 years later, but it’s awfully nice — gosh, he certainly deserved it.”