CONCORD — New Hampshire honored its fallen members of law enforcement on Friday during the 27th annual ceremony and wreath laying at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall on the grounds of the State House.
Heather Arkell, widow of Brentwood officer Stephen J. Arkell, was among the family members on hand for the event. Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of Arkell’s death.
He was shot and killed by Michael Nolan on May 12, 2014, responding to a call about a domestic disturbance at Nolan’s home, which later exploded. As the most recent officer to be killed in the line of duty, Arkell’s was the 50th name in a list of 50 read by Attorney General Gordon MacDonald.
As MacDonald read the names on the Roll of Honor, family members were escorted to the Memorial Wreath, where each placed a rose in honor of their loved one.
It was the fourth such event for Heather Arkell, attending with her in-laws and two daughters. She said family members are comforted to know their loved ones will never be forgotten for the sacrifices they made.
“It means a lot. It’s very humbling to see,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see they do this for the families.”
This year one name will be added to the Memorial Wall, Deputy Sheriff Donald E. Callahan of the Merrimack County Sheriff’s Office.
The retired Concord Police lieutenant went to work for the Merrimack County Sheriff in 1993 as a court bailiff. During a mandatory physical agility test he collapsed on the track and later died from an apparent heart attack.
Gov. Chris Sununu, in his keynote address, urged the crowd of survivors, dignitaries and representatives of law enforcement from across the state to keep the names inscribed on the wall in their hearts all year long, not just during the memorial ceremony.
“This year we’re paying tribute to 50 individuals and their families to remind ourselves that we will never forget their sacrifices or the commitment made by our state’s fallen heroes,” he said. “They are forever memorialized here on our State House grounds.”