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City remembers Fallen Officers in ceremony

Date: 5/18/2009

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD The sounds of a lone bagpiper, a rifle salute and the playing of taps punctuated the air Wednesday afternoon on Pearl Street as the Springfield Police Department paid its annual tribute to those who had lost their lives while in the service of their city.

The Fallen Officers memorial ceremony has taken place for over 15 years at the police headquarters, according to Sgt. John Delaney.

The stone memorial located in front of the headquarters was decorated with police officers' hats and visitors were handed roses to place on the monument after the presentation of a wreath.

The officers honored included Thomas Miller (1675), Daniel Donovan (1908), Adelbert St. Marie (1934), Carl Rolf (1938), John P. Sullivan Sr. (1940), Thomas F. Murphy (1940), Raymond Moriarty (1946), John W. Connors (1953), Leo Hamel (1955), Francis Sears (1967), Walter C. Juskiewicz (1969), William Berte (1973), Richard D. Vigneault (1973) Paul F. Mawaka (1973), Michael Schiavina (1985) and Alain Beauregard (1985).

With Squad C officers standing behind him, Police Commissioner William Fitchet noted that Springfield officers "answer the call every day.[those who] stand before you are our heroes."

Doris Beauregard-Shecrallah, the widow of slain officer Alain Beauregard, told the audience of police officers and family members that a memorial such as this one is "not a time for revenge, but a time for healing and peace.Know who they are and that they died heroes."

Beauregard-Shecrallah, who is active in the Massachusetts chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, ended her remarks with a reminder that officers should always wear their bulletproof vests.

Mayor Domenic Sarno thanked the police families present for allowing their loved ones to protect the city.

Fitchet noted the name of Thomas Miller, a constable who lost his life in 1675 when Native Americans attacked the settlement during what would become the King Philip's War. The name was added to the roster several years ago when research showed that Miller was the city's first law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty.

Attending the ceremony for the first time was a direct descendent of Miller's, Alma Scalise of Southwick, his great granddaughter by 10 times. She said she felt honored for her ancestor by "this very important service."