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Officer killed in the line of duty honored 33 years later

Published: May. 18, 2011 at 8:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2011 at 4:27 PM CDT
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Madison County's law enforcement community took the time to honor 22 officers killed in the line of duty.

One of the officer's families waited more than three decades for him to be recognized for his sacrifice. Though he was killed in 1978, Officer Billy Clardy, Jr. is the latest name to be added to Madison County's Fraternal Order of Police Fallen Officer Memorial. For his family, this was a long time coming.

"It feels good. It really feels good. I'm thankful that it finally came about. I really am," said Gail Sanders, one of Clardy's six siblings.

Officer Clardy was killed on May 3, 1978 in a car accident while on-duty. Decades later, he's finally being recognized as a fallen officer at an annual ceremony held at the FOP Memorial.

"We're here today to honor their memory, their service and their sacrifice," said Huntsville Police Chief Mark Hudson.

Service and sacrifice is something the Clardy family knows a lot about.

"Standing with us here today is his son, his brother, and his nephew, and they're standing here with us as Huntsville police officers serving their community. That is proof enough for me that Billy Clardy will never be forgotten," adds Huntsville Police Chief Mark Hudson.

His name etched in stone at the memorial will ensure his sacrifice will be remembered and bring comfort to those he has left behind.

"I just love him. I miss him very much," Sanders said. "And I want to say thank you to everybody that had anything to do with getting his name down and finally having him recognized as a fallen officer."

Clardy's name was also added to the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. Several of his family members attended that ceremony.

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