Community Unites for Fallen Heroes

Sacramento Region, CA  |  Story and picture by Susan Maxwell Skinner
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It is fitting that today we continue to remember each honoree’s service and sacrifice. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

  Share this pic with friends!

Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Carmichael and Fair Oaks stalwarts gathered in last Saturday’s rain to recall fallen heroes of nation and community. The annual “Wall of Honor” ceremony was observed at Patriots Park.

Built in 2008, the reserve’s stone monument is dedicated to 13 local men -- from military, police, CHP and fire-fighting forces -- who died in service during Carmichael Park District’s 55-year existence.  Their sacrifice unites surrounding neighborhoods each November. The 13 named heroes fell in uniforms of the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, CHP, police and firefighting services. Plaques recall sacrifice from the Vietnam War years until the present time. 

Ceremony attendees included bereaved families; elected representatives and park district leaders. Congressman Ami Bera and County Supervisor Susan Peters were among last Saturday’s speakers. Dr. Bera said the nation should “stop and consider values that bring us all together.” The best way we can remember our heroes, he suggested, “is to continue the service that they began.”

Supervisor Peters noted that the wall’s plaques named individuals who shared one commitment. “They put service above self,” she said. “regardless of whether they wore a Sheriff’s uniform or that of the Highway Patrol or a branch of the armed services or of fire protection, each was dedicated to the common good.

“It is fitting that today we continue to remember each honoree’s service and sacrifice.”

A new name will soon be added to the wall. In August, Deputy Robert French -- a former member of the Sheriff’s local Problem-Oriented team in the North Division -- died in an August shootout on Fulton Avenue. The tragedy will be recalled next year when Deputy French’s plaque joins those on the Wall of Honor.

Heroes commemorated by the recent ceremony were:

CHP Officer Ronald E. Davis

Army Specialist James E. Schlottman

Army Leiutenant Robert S. Byrnes

Airforce Captain Olin E. Gilbert Jnr

Army Sergeant Larry H. Morford

Firefighter Dean W. Rhoades

US Navy pilot Lieutenant  J. G. David A. Warne

Marine and firefighter Sergeant Brian E. Dunlap

Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin P. Blount

 Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph M. Kievernagel

Army Sergeant Ronald L. Coffelt

Army Specialist Raymond N. Spencer Jnr

Deputy Sheriff Danny P. Oliver

Anyone may visit Patriots Park at 6825 Palm Avenue, Fair Oaks.