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Examiner
  • Paying tribute to fallen officers

  • The Independence and Sugar Creek police departments held their annual Police Memorial Service Friday on the front steps of police headquarters in Independence.

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  • The Independence and Sugar Creek police departments held their annual Police Memorial Service Friday on the front steps of police headquarters in Independence.
    The five Independence officers and two Sugar Creek officers who have died in the line of duty were honored by fellow officers and friends and relatives of the fallen officers.
    A wreath was placed next to the monument and roses were placed on it by family members of the deceased officers. A.J. Cato, a World War II prisoner of war, father of Capt. John Cato and son of a former Independence police chief, gave the main address to the crowd. The Nowlin Middle School Black and Gold Choir performed, "taps" was played and there was a 21-gun salute by the Independence Honor Guard to honor the seven officers.
    Honored were Independence's Henry Bugler (who died June 13, 1866), John Swearingen (Jan. 16, 1884), George Barton (Jan. 26, 1922), David Kraxner (Oct. 31, 1966) and Terry Foster (March 17, 2001) and Sugar Creek's Mike Onka (Feb. 5, 1968) and Anthony Novak (Sept. 18, 1969).
    One of the members of the Independence Color Guard, Officer David Wehlerman, collapsed from effects of the heat during the ceremony but a police spokesperson said he is expected to recover.
     

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