WASHINGTON -- A handful of law enforcement officers from our area are being honored in the nation's capital after they lost their lives in the line of duty.
As National Police Week gets underway, nearly 400 officers killed in the line of duty were honored in Washington, D.C. Saturday, with each of their names etched into the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Those names include Kristopher Moules, who died last July during a fight with an inmate at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility; Charles Beechum, a deputy game commission officer who was shot and killed while on duty in Lackawanna County in 1906; and a handful of others who lost their lives a century ago.
In total, eight law enforcement officers from northeastern and central Pennsylvania had their legacies honored at the ceremony:
James Golden, Dunmore P.D.
Anthony Maslowski, Exeter Borough P.D.
Geogre Dworski, Exeter Borough P.D.
Peter Griffin, Lock Haven P.D.
Kristopher David Moules, Luzerne County Correctional Facility
Milan Barber, Minersville P.D.
Charles Beecham, Pennsylvania Game Commission
John Dando, Shenandoah
"He just loved it. He loved being a police officer. He was never happier than when he was a police officer," said his son Tom Barber.
Tom Barber still remembers what it was like losing his father, Patrolman Milan Barber, back in 1970 after a man tried to steal a car and Officer Barber fought with him, ultimately losing his life after a blood clot dislodged.
Now, Tom Barber, along with 14 other family members, made the trip to D.C. for the vigil. It's a trip they wouldn't miss for the world.
"We were over the moon with this. This is great. Almost 47 years later, somebody is acknowledging that this man gave up his life for his community. In this day and age where cops are being beaten down and trashed for every little thing they're doing, it's just such a nice thing somebody is doing something for something so far gone," Tom Barber said.
"We still get emotional," said his daughter Gail Barber Bedford. "It's just wonderful. That's all I can say. He deserves it, as well as a lot of other policemen and first responders that don't get any kind of recognition."
National Police Week continues with events throughout Washington D.C.