AUGUSTA – This week is National Police Week, and at a memorial by the Maine State House Thursday, Mainers gathered to honor the state’s fallen law enforcement.
86 names are now engraved on the Maine Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Augusta.
The newest engraving is for Cpl. Eugene Cole, who was part of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.
Cpl. Cole was shot and killed in the line of duty last year.
Tom Cole said his brother would’ve been honored by the turnout for the fallen corporal at Thursday’s ceremony.
“Gene was an ‘aw shucks’ kind of guy, who would just say ‘aw shucks’ or ‘why are you guys doing this for me,’ but on the inside he’d be very proud,” said Tom Cole.
Cpl. Cole’s brother sang an original song written by the corporal for this wife.
Governor Janet Mills and numerous state lawmakers showed their support at the memorial.
“We take inspiration from their lives, and their service,” said Governor Mills. “Lest they remain mere names on a wall of stone we should always ask who were they?”
So who was Cpl. Cole? Those who knew him said he cared about the people he served.
“He showed respect to people no matter what they may have done. How he would have put it is ‘they made a mistake'”, said Tom Cole.
“It’s outstanding. It’s a great tribute to a great man who gave to the community,” said Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster.
Cpl. Cole’s name is also on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
His family was in Washington, DC earlier this week, but they said emotions were running higher back home in Maine.
“The life he lived, it counted. It counted for something,” said Tom Cole.
Also at the ceremony, was the family of Maine State Police Detective Ben Campbell. He was killed in a freak accident while helping a driver last month.
Tom Cole said it was a big moment for him to meet the detective’s loved ones.
Around this same time next year, Campbell’s name will also go on to the memorial wall.