'It's All About Remembering': Fallen Tulsa County Deputies Honored During Memorial Ceremony

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is honoring those who lost their lives in the line of public service. County Leaders, deputies, and families of fallen first responders gathered for the annual memorial ceremony to make sure those lost are never forgotten. 

Thursday, May 16th 2024, 4:28 pm

By: Matt Rahn


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The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is honoring those who lost their lives in the line of public service. 

County Leaders, deputies, and families of fallen first responders gathered for the annual memorial ceremony to make sure those lost are never forgotten. 

Heavy on everyone's hearts and minds on Thursday was Sergeant John Harris. He passed away in 2021 after a battle with COVID-19, and for his family, this memorial is an important step in their healing journey.

The solemn sound of a trumpet playing taps is a powerful tribute. 

"The songs and the taps, I'm sorry."

For Michelle Harris, it's a potent reminder of her late Husband Sergeant John Harris.

"The taps and bagpipes are kind of a trigger actually for us those that have lost a fallen officer but it's also comforting in a way it's kind of hard to explain," says Harris. 

Sergeant Harris died in 2021 after getting COVID-19 on the job, but on Thursday his life was honored because of his impact on everyone in the room. 

"Oh my gosh that's the best part just being able to share stories and hear stories about how he's impacted the Sheriff's office and the community," says Harris.

13 fallen members of the sheriff's office were honored on Thursday.

"It's all about remembering," says Ashley Wheeler.

Wheeler used her voice to show respect for the fallen, and those left behind to grieve their loss.

"This was for her, the emotion behind the songs and the lyrics themselves they are for her and her family that they're obviously never going to forget John and no one else will either," says Wheeler.

She says music is meant to express something, to remind grieving families that the legacy of those lost will always be remembered. 

"This was just another way that I could give back and tell them that they're never walking alone," she says.

From Ashley's song to the trumpet's tune the sounds of this memorial will echo beyond this ceremony. 

Michell Harris says because many people don't know what it's like to lose a loved one in the line of duty, memorials like the one held on Thursday are crucial for moving forward. 

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