NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County peace officers continued their long standing recognition of law officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
National Peace Officers Memorial Day was observed with a fallen peace officers memorial service. Families of the most recent fallen officers have never missed a ceremony.
The daughters of Nacogdoches County Sheriff Office Sergeant Tom Sitton, whose end of watch was May 24, 1996, are grown. Amanda is about to graduate from high school. Ashley is keeping her father's memory before her own two children.
"Well she knows that he was a cop and that he has passed away and that he is in heaven now," said Amanda Sitton Sustaita, Sitton's daughter. "She points up to the clouds and says she sees him and so she knows where he's at. This one, I don't think he knows yet."
One fallen peace officer's grandchildren never knew their grandfather, Constable Darrell Lunsford Sr. His end of watch came on January 23, 1991, during a traffic stop of drug smugglers.
"There was only one grandchild, and she was one year old whenever he died, so the grandchildren don't really know him except from what I keep telling, them and we discuss things all the time when I'm around them about their grandfather, said Shirley Lunsford, Darrell Lunsford's widow.
And they listen. One grandson is aspiring to become a Texas Ranger.
There have been ten fallen peace officers in Nacogdoches County since 1871.