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Fallen officers to be remembered during virtual candelight vigil

Updated: May. 10, 2020 at 10:36 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Sunday, kicks off National Police Week. This year, things look a lot different. Many events have been canceled including the peace officer’s memorial service at our nation’s capitol.

New names of fallen officers, including Huntsville STAC Agent Billy Clardy III, have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial.

While his brothers in blue won’t be able to attend this year’s vigil, they continue to remember his service and sacrifice.

"Billy I can say is truly a friend."

"The community at large is going to miss him."

Sentiments echoed by those who knew STAC Agent Billy Clardy the best just days after his death. Officer Clardy was shot and killed during a narcotics operation on Levert Street in Huntsville on December 6th. He was one of 146 officers killed in the line of duty in 2019. And the 6th police officer in Alabama to die last year by gun fire.

“We’re wounded and we’re hurting but we’re going to get through this," said Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray.

Officer Clardy may be gone but he’s not forgotten. His name has been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D-C. It’s a way to remember those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Unlike years past, officers from around the country, and here at home, won’t be able to attend due to the COVID pandemic.

“We are not going to let that take away from the hard work and service that STAC Agent Clardy gave to this city and to this agency,” said Huntsville Police Lt. Michael Johnson.

Lt. Michael Johnson said the wounds of losing Officer Clardy are still fresh. There’s a range of emotions when it comes to losing a brother in blue.

He says there’s also a sense of pride in knowing Officer Clardy will forever be remembered - a name on the wall alongside thousands of others who died as heroes.

“You always lose the best its very sad, its very sad but when you do that it makes us stronger and I think it will make our STAC unit stronger it’s going to make this family unit stronger. He did what his dad was doing that was being a police officer and he died doing what he loved,” said Lt. Johnson.

This year, the names of fallen law enforcement officers will be formally dedicated during a virtual Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday at 7 p.m. central time/8 p.m eastern time.

The virtual broadcast will replace the traditional Candlelight Vigil ceremony held on the National Mall, which draws more than 30,000 first responders, surviving families, and law enforcement supporters annually.

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