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Originally published: 2013-05-15 16:33:19
Last modified: 2013-05-15 16:33:19

Our View: Set in stone a fitting tribute for fallen officer

When a law enforcement officer dies in the line of duty, the reverberations of that death reach deep into the heart of the community in which he served. 

Deep are those reverberations still today in Watauga County for Deputy William Mast Jr., who died nearly 10 months ago while responding to a call in Deep Gap.

A Peace Officers Memorial Service in Fayetteville Tuesday brought echoes of Watauga's outpouring of prayer and remembrance, as Mast was among seven law enforcement officers honored by more than 500 officers from across the state.

This week, that honor rightly continues as Mast's sacrifice will again be recognized during National Police Week. And because no law enforcement officer works, or dies alone, that national recognition will be experienced personally as many of the officers with whom Mast served, including Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman, join his family in Washington, D.C.

After the events of the week are finished, Mast's name will join those of more than 19,000 law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout the history of our nation. 

Those names are inscribed in marble on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, and this is fitting. The sacrifice Mast made, the accomplishments he achieved during a short life and the love of a family he leaves behind are rightly set in stone. 

There is no more fitting tribute for an officer who gave his life for our High Country community, in the mountains of North Carolina.