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Oxnard honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice

Officers take part in Wednesday’s memorial for seven fallen policemen at the Oxnard Police Department. (Photo Credit: Robert Jeffreys)

By Peggy Hunt

Seven Oxnard officers killed in the line of duty, one of them more than a century ago, received recognition on Wednesday, May 15, during the 14th annual Fallen Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony. The event honored the city’s fallen officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, and to voice our appreciation for all those who currently serve on the front lines of the battle against crime.

The fallen Oxnard police officers remembered were: Deputy Constable Andrew McNaughton, 1906; Constable William Kelley, 1921; Officer Albert Gasperetti, 1956; Officer Frederick John Clark, 1971; Senior Officer John Adair, 1980; Officer James O’Brien, 1993; and Officer James Jensen Jr., 1996.
Officers marched down South C Street in synchronized steps to the ceremonial sound of a bagpipe played by Mike Reynolds. The ceremony included: a prayer, a seven gun salute, songs by Oxnard High School under the direction of Fundi Legohn and comments by Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn and Chief of Police Jeri Williams.

The ceremony coincided with Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week. It is an observance that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who have died in the line of duty. The memorial takes place on May 15, and Police Week is the calendar week in which Memorial Day falls. The event is sponsored by the National Fraternal Order of Police.

Memorial Day was created on October 1, 1961, when Congress asked the president to designate May 15 to honor peace officers. John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law on October 1, 1962.

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