BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WTXL) - Law enforcement agencies across the country are flying American flags at half-staff to honor officers who have died in the line of duty.
May 15th was designated as "National Peace Officers Memorial Day" by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. And as "National Police Week" continues, WTXL is remembering two South Georgia officers who lost their lives while serving their communities.
As flags across the country are flown at half-mast, they're a simple reminder of the price paid by those sworn to protect.
Officer Norman Murkerson was a member of Bainbridge Public Safety in the 1950's. On November 16th, 1953, Murkerson was involved in a serious accident when his motorcycle crashed. He died a day later from his injuries.
He was just 30 years old, on the force for only a year.
"They paid the ultimate sacrifice, serving and protecting their communities -- just like Officer Norman Murkerson did in November of 1953," said Frank Green, the deputy director of Bainbridge Public Safety.
In 2008, Decatur County Deputy Robert Griffin was killed in an accident while responding to a suicide call. He was 44, leaving behind a wife and three children.
In Bainbridge, you'll find signs like this, urging the community to "Back the Blue." Bainbridge Public Safety says it should be more than just a holiday to support and honor officers past and present.
"These officers are serving the community. They're putting their lives on the line to make sure their communities are safe," said Green.
As the community remembers Officer Murkerson and Deputy Griffin, thousands of others have lost their lives. And during "National Police Week," the memories are even stronger.
"We don't want to forget them, and we want the community to back those officers who are out here doing everything they can to protect the citizens," said Green.
According to the nonprofit "Officer Down Memorial Page," 48 officers have lost their lives this year, including Lowndes County Deputy Michael Butler in February.