CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Dozens of law enforcement officers from the Tri-County area paid tribute to their fallen comrades at an annual service Wednesday morning.
The Lowcountry Fraternal Order of Police Law Enforcement Memorial was held at Park Circle in North Charleston.
The names of all 64 local officers who have been killed in the line of duty over the years were read during the service. The list included Charleston County Deputy Joseph Matuskovic, who was killed in September while responding to a disturbance at a West Ashley apartment complex; and Summerville Police Officer Robert Blajszczak, who died six days after suffering a heart attack while conducting a traffic stop on the 600 block of Main Street.
Deputy Senior Chaplain Rich Robinson, who gave the keynote address, told the audience that police officers are the thin blue line between the community and chaos.
Family members of fallen officers attended the memorial and were escorted to their seats by current officers. One of them was Audrey Way, whose husband was a North Charleston Police officer who died in the line of duty in 1985.
"I don't know if there is such a thing as closure but time does help, what you do with your life does help, but losing someone you love and especially this way will always affect the people," Way said.
The service ended with a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.