|Messenger photos by Dianne Garrett|
|Gathering during an Aug. 24 memorial service for Officer Terry McDowell, in front of the memorial garden maintained by residents, are Angie McDowell, Eric and Melody Brill with their children, Ellie (standing) and Victoria. McDowell was killed in the line of duty August 24, 2001.|
|A marker honors Officer Terry McDowell. Neighbors maintain a memorial garden at Little Flower and St. Francis where fellow police officers, friends and members of the community often pause to remember McDowell or to pray.|
Whitehall Officer Terry McDowell was remembered by city officials, police officers, family and friends Aug. 24 during the annual memorial at the neighborhood shrine on Little Flower and St. Francis Avenues.
McDowell was killed in the line of duty six years ago on the same date. His partner, Officer Eric Brill (now retired) was also critically injured during the same incident.
Mayor Lynn Ochsendorf said, "I want to talk today about a noble profession, and the type of person who chooses to serve others at all costs. And, I want to remember the last smile I ever saw on Terry’s face, and remind you all why we are here today."
She thanked Brill for his continuing work with the Fraternal Order of Police. Ochsendorf pointed out the tireless efforts of Angie McDowell, the officer’s widow, along with Eric and Melody Brill to assist others through Get Behind The Badge during times of tragedy.
McDowell’s best friend, Officer Spencer Salyers, expressed how awesome it is each year to see so many gather to remember Terry. He noted the presence of officers from Columbus, Westerville, Gahanna and Reynoldsburg.
Reminding the group of his friend’s sense of humor and the high temperatures of the day, Salyers said, "I am sure that Terry is floating on a cloud right now with his feet up laughing at us standing out here in this heat."
He concluded by referring to McDowell as "an officer’s officer."
F.O.P. President Jim Gilbert called McDowell a true American hero to his city, state and country. The officer was also a Marine veteran.
There have been 121 officers killed across the nation this year, the highest number in 40 years. Five were from Ohio.
Gilbert read a poem "Pray For The Men In Blue."
Angie McDowell thanked the neighbors for beautifully maintaining the memorial garden.
"It means as much to me as going to the cemetery," she said.
She extended a thanks to everyone for still honoring her husband, and for the support from the agencies and F.O.P. "I’m not the only one who suffered that day. So did Eric and Melody Brill, the department, my children and the community."
Brill shared that he visits the memorial often. "It’s nice to have a quiet place to come. I miss the camaraderie, but have no regrets about that day. I am proud to have served with Whitehall Police Department."
Besides thanking his wife for sticking with him through a difficult time right before their wedding, he said, "Thank you, Terry, for my wife and kids. I’ll never see you again here, but we will meet again one day."
Sgt. Randy Snider closed the service singing "Amazing Grace."