DENVER (CBS4) – As the nation prepares to recognize first responders with the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, Denver police are honoring officers killed in the line of duty.
At the corner of West 41st Avenue and Tejon Street in Denver, the family of a fallen officer were present Thursday for the unveiling of a very special sign.
The sign was screwed into the street pole at the intersection and reads “In Memory of Denver Police Officer Darrel J. Suer March 11, 1962.”
Dick Suer was a teenager when his father was killed at the location.
“Every time this stuff comes up it strikes closer to the heart with all of us,” he said on Thursday.
Darrel Suer was having dinner with his wife and children in 1962 when armed, masked men walked into the restaurant they were at dining.
Saur stepped in to help and was shot to death.
Denver Police Museum board member Michael Hess says the sign and other signs that are going up that honor other fallen officers are a reminder of sacrifice.
“With the crazy times going on now … we felt the timing of this project is essential,” Hess said.
Detective Suer’s three sons all became police officers, and the sign is very special to their family, according to eldest son Bob Suer.
“All I can say is, wow,” he said.
Suer’s wife Cody says her life was changed on the street corner where the shooting happened. It’s now at this corner that she hopes the sign will remind others that the thin blue line is here to protect us.
“People (should) have patience or respect for police officer like they used to have. Without police and firefighters where would we be?” Cody Suer said.
The Denver Police Department and the Denver Police Museum will unveil four more signs across the city in the coming week designating the locations where DPD officers lost their lives in the line of duty.
The other fallen officer ceremonies are as follows:
Sept. 9, 2016 at 1 p.m. at the Blair Caldwell Library at 2401 Welton. This ceremony will be held to honor Ed Smerdel, who was killed when his weapon accidentally discharged and killed him when he was on duty July 16,1961, at the Five Points station.
Sept. 10, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the intersection Evans and Williams Street. This ceremony will honor Carl Knobbe who was killed on Sept. 12, 1962, after pursuing and stopping a robbery suspect.
Sept. 11, 2016, 11 a.m. at the intersection of 15th and California. This ceremony will honor Michael Dowd who was shot on Nov. 28, 1969, while attempting to arrest a suspect who was later found to be a convicted cop killer and prison escapee. Dowd killed the suspect. Dowd was wounded six times and lived, but his life was significant cut short due to his injuries.