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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Memorial for Bureau of Narcotics Agents

How can we ever adequately express our thanks for public servants who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty?

On June 14th, 2007 a familiar group again gathered to try. Agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics were joined by the Governor and Mrs. Barbour, Commissioner George Phillips, Bureau Director Marshall Fisher, and several judges and other dignitaries in a ceremony to honor agents who have died in the line of duty.

Lest We Forget
In attendance at the ceremony were many family members of the slain officers, some of whom traveled more than a thousand miles to observe the service. This is an annual tradition for those families; many attend every year.

The day was hot and muggy, but you would never have known it from the dignified bearing of the Honor Guard, made up of Bureau agents. Following welcoming remarks by Director Fisher, the Guard “posted the colors,” raising the flags to half mast. The National Anthem was sung by Judge Kent McDaniel, a former MBN agent himself, and the invocation was offered by Dr. Elbert Craig, presently a captain
with MBN.

Then guests Governor Barbour and the Honorable James L. Roberts, Jr. each spoke

Photo of memorial for MS narcotics agents

of the sacrifice and honor of the fallen agents, and of the loss their families have suffered. The absence of these brave men is felt keenly by everyone who knew them.

Next came a very special part of the service as Enforcement Commander Bobby Grimes recognized each of the fallen agents. As each name was called out, a rose was presented to either a family member or a fellow agent, who then placed the rose at the Bureau of Narcotics’ memorial. In all, five men have died in the line of duty since 1971. They are:

Agent Harold Lane Caldwell
Agent Robert Henry McLeod
Agent Spencer Glenn Beckley, Sr.
Agent Marc Lee Whatley
Special Contract Agent Kimbrough “Kim” Sterling

The plaintive cry of bagpipes rang out as Mr. Chris Carmichael delivered two favorites, “Amazing Grace,” and “Going Home.” The Governor and Mrs. Barbour laid a large wreath on the Bureau’s Memorial, attended by the Honor Guard. This poignant moment was followed by a full 2-Gun Salute and the playing of “Taps” by
Mr. Larry Dale.

Deputy Director Donald Butler, who has served with honor for more than 40 years and is a former Chief of Patrol and Interim Commissioner of Public Safety, concluded the service by providing the closing remarks.

While no ceremony can offer enough comfort to the families of these men, we hold this service every year to ensure that the sacrifice of these men and their families will always be honored and remembered.

Lest We Forget

Posting the colors: raising our flag to half mast National anthem is sung
The invocation is led by Dr. Craig
Governor Barbour addresses the audience
Family members lay roses at the memorial Honor Guard delivers wreath to the memorial stone
Governor and Mrs. Barbour lay a wreath at the memorial
Captain Bob Poe lays a rose at teh memorial
Capt. Leon Williams lays a rose at the memorial
The Governor and Mrs. Barbour lay the wreath at the memorial
A family member lays a rose at the memorial
Governor and Mrs. Barbour lay the wreath at the memorial
21 Gun Salute
Mr. Carmichael plays the bagpipes
Chief Butler provides closing remarks
Lest We Forget