Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fallen Officers Remembered Through Memorial

"This is something I always wanted to do," Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart said about the new memorial honoring Fallen Deputies of Sequoyah County that stands near the entrance to the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Department in Sallisaw.

The memorial was dedicated in May, and was set up with the help of a donation from Don and Joyce Harvey of Muldrow. It memorializes four fallen officers who were killed in the line of duty. Deputy August L. Edwards was killed on Dec. 24, 1925. Deputy Perry Chuculate was killed on Aug. 27, 1926. Deputy Tom Hood was killed on March 27, 1933. Undersheriff Ira E. Wofford was killed on Dec. 4, 1953. The names of those officers have also been added to a Fallen Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. The dedication also coincided with the ceremony honoring Oklahoma's Fallen Officers which is held in May.

Lockhart explained obtaining recognition for the county's fallen officers wasn't easy, since the circumstances of their deaths had to be proven. "We had to do the research, and confirm they were killed in the line of duty," Lockhart said. "It was a long process." August L. Edwards was the last to be confirmed and added to the list just this year.

In addition, Lockhart had a second memorial set up to honor the county's sheriffs. "We've had only 21 since 1907," he pointed out. Lockhart explained that in earlier years, the county sheriff served only two two-year terms, but not consecutively. That's why some of those named, such as John Johnson, are honored for 12 years served, while other, may be honored for the years they served in sequence, such as Johnny Philpot who was sheriff from 1996 to 2008.

Lockhart said the sheriff's monument will honor those from the past and those will serve in the future. "We will use both sides," Lockhart said, "and we will have enough space for another 100 years."

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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