The two Harford County Sheriff's Office deputies who were shot to death in the line of duty in February will be among those honored at the annual Fallen Heroes Day Tribute this Friday at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, along with a peace officer from Bel Air whose 1920 death had been all but forgotten for decades.
Fallen Heroes Day is the only statewide ceremony in the nation that brings together all segments of the public safety community to salute police and correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical and rescue personnel who risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of Maryland, according to a news release from Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.
Upward of 2,000 people are expected for the 1 p.m. ceremony, including survivor families, friends and leaders of the public safety community.
The ceremony is open to the public. Dulaney Memorial Gardens is at 200 East Padonia Road. For more information, call 410-666-0490, or visit www.dulaneyvalley.com. Follow Fallen Heroes Day on Facebook: Honoring Fallen Heroes Dulaney Valley.
Honored will be four police officers who died in the line of duty since last year's Fallen Heroes Day:
• Police Officer III Noah Leotta, Montgomery County Police Department, Dec. 10, 2015;
• Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey, Harford County Sheriff's Office, Feb. 10, 2016;
• Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, Harford County Sheriff's Office, Feb. 10, 2016;
• Detective Jacai Colson, Prince George's County Police Department, March 13, 2016.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will give memorial addresses. Baltimore Sun writer Fred Rasmussen will be the keynote speaker and Mary Beth Marsden will be emcee.
Giving the Survivor's Address will be Rachel Barr, the daughter-in-law of 2014 Fallen Hero Fire Police Captain David Barr Jr., of the Community Fire Company of Perryville. Captain Barr died when he was struck and killed by a motorist while directing traffic around an accident scene.
One firefighter and one police officer, who died in the line of duty before Fallen Heroes Day was established in 1986, also will be remembered.
The police officer remembered will be Town Bailiff George Noonan, of the Bel Air Police Department. The 34-year old police officer died on June 29, 1920 from injuries sustained while attempting to arrest a subject who had been causing a disturbance in the business section of town.
The Bel Air Police Department learned of Officer Noonan's sacrifice when a local historian discovered information about the incident and, led by Detective Sgt. Jim Lockard, has been on a mission to have the officer properly memorialized.
Firefighter James Gallagher, of the Baltimore City Fire Department, will be honored 55 years after his passing. An 18-year veteran of the fire service, Firefighter Gallagher died at age 49 on July 15, 1961, in a one-alarm house fire in Baltimore City.
He was assigned to Truck 14 out of the fire station that once stood at 4533 Harford Road in the Lauraville neighborhood. James Gallagher's 12-year old great-grand daughter, Olivia Lockett, will sing the national anthem at the ceremony. Olivia represents the fourth generation of this fire service family.
Following memorial addresses, there will be a presentation to the families of the fallen, and a wreath laying at the Fallen Heroes Memorial.
The ceremony will conclude with the children of the fallen heroes placing a wreath at the memorial wall, followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.
There are 70 members of the public safety community, including Harford County Deputy Mark Logsdon, buried at the Fallen Heroes Memorial. Including this year's observance, a total of 175 Fallen Heroes have been honored at the annual ceremony.
Keeping with tradition, Gov. Larry Hogan has issued a proclamation declaring May 6, 2016 as Fallen Heroes Day in Maryland and has ordered flags flown at half-staff at the State House and all state facilities.