INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — On Wednesday afternoon, people gathered outside Independence Police Headquarters to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
With flags at half staff, tears falling and songs of joy, they remembered officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“To let the families know even though they gave that sacrifice so many years ago, they have not been forgotten,” Stacy Wagstaff said.
Seven roses were placed in a wreath at the memorial, representing the seven Independence and Sugar Creek police officers who were killed in service.
“I feel really sad for the families of the fallen officers. I thank God that my name wasn’t on there also,” Independence officer Tom Wagstaff said.
In 2017, Tom was shot while on duty and left seriously injured because of that shooting. But Tom has made a miraculous recovery since then and has retired from the department.
On days like this, as they remember lives lost, the Wagstaffs are especially thankful.
“It’s an emotional thing knowing that we came that close to him being on that wall and losing him. Very thankful that we’re not in that circumstance,” Stacy said.
As the bagpipe played Amazing Grace to close out the memorial service, the Wagstaffs and the rest of those gathered remembered: They’re in this together.
“I never really understood the ‘Blue Family’ until all of this happened and the support that we have had from the Blue family and the community has just been amazing,” Stacy said.