Annual Police Memorial Ceremony
By Kevin Rudden Staff Reporter/Columnist · June 13, 2012
Members of the Milford Police Department along with state and local officials gathered on May 20 to honor the officers who have retired and those who gave their lives while serving the town.
"Today we pause to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, to lay down their lives to protect the Milford community." With those words, Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin opened the annual Police Memorial ceremony held on May 20 before a somber audience gathered in front of the police station.
"These fine gentlemen paid the ultimate price to protect the Milford community," O'Loughlin added after Patrolman Joseph Shuras and Sergeant Kara Maguire laid a wreath in front of a monument honoring Patrolman Harry Butler – killed in the line of duty in 1916 – and Sergeant Walter Conley – killed in the line of duty in 1980.
Patrolman Robert Tusino spoke of it being "a privilege and an honor to wear this uniform and serve this community," and recalled how – as a young boy – he met a police officer who told him that "it's my honor" to serve. That comment influenced his own career path, Tusino said. "To that retired officer standing out there in the crowd, thank you for showing me what it means to live honorably," he said.
Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis called the ceremony "a somber day, a day of reflection," and noted how many stories and remembrances he had just by looking at the group of retired officers assembled for the ceremony. "We support the officers who gave their lives and those who passed away, but more importantly, we remember those who serve today," DeBartolomeis said. "We have to thank you on a daily basis."
"You have the gratitude of this community," added Sate Senator John Fernandes, D. Milford.
Makayla Poissant, daughter of Patrolman Russell Poissant, sang the National Anthem at the ceremony, Sergeant Bernardino Coelho played Taps, and bagpipers Russell Poissant, Michael Kehoe, Patrick Salmon and Scott Keefe played Amazing Grace.
The ceremony concluded with unveiling the newest names added to the monument honoring retires and past officers of the Milford Police Department: Officer Sean Brophy, Officer Richard Belanger, Officer Mark Criasia, Officer Brian Harris, Officer Ronald Massey, Officer Frank Minichiello, Sergeant Omer Recore, Officer Arthur Russo, Officer Nicholas Sullo, Officer Christina Taddei, Lieutenant Peter Veilleux, Lieutenant Earl Wagner, Sergeant Stephen Wagner, Chief John Walsh, Officer Henry Webster, Jr. and Officer Paul Zorzi.