As bag pipes played, you could feel the emotion in the room. One by one all 135 of Utah’s fallen officers were honored Friday night including Ogden officer Jared Francom who was gunned down one year ago.
“I’m so grateful for all the support that all the departments have shown me and my family,” said Erin Francom, widow of Agent Jared Francom.
His widow Erin Francom said she’s touched by the outpouring of support.
“It’s just amazing,” she said.
Police and people gathered from around the state to the Bountiful Regional Center to pay tribute and raise money for the Francom family, so they could to fly to Washington D.C. to see Officer Francom’s name is placed on the National Law Enforcement Memorial this spring.
“I think it’s going to be a very surreal moment it’s a huge honor for all of us, but something that’s kind of bitter sweet at the same time,” Francom said.
Friday night wasn’t just about raising money. Police also honored 9 Utah officers who survived frightening gun battles, including Ranger Brody Young. In 2010 he was ambushed in Moab and shot 9 times.
“I’m lucky to be alive, I shouldn’t be here,” said Ranger Brody Young, Utah State Parks and Recreation.
The crowd gave Young and the other 8 surviving heroes a standing ovation. One of the police who organized the event Friday night said standing next to those officers was one of the most humbling moments of his career.
“This is one of the greatest honors we could have to stand on that stage with those men who survived and who have committed these acts of bravery,” said Lt. Dave Edwards, Davis County Fraternal Order of Police.
If you attended the ceremony Friday night you would’ve heard amazing stories of bravery in the face of fear. Some of those stories may have been too much for the Francom family. It’s only been one year since Officer Francom’s death. ABC 4 is told the family did not stay for the entire program.
ABC 4 is told the Fraternal Order of Police they’re hoping to raise about $5,000 to help at least 6 members of the Francom family fly to Washington D.C.
If you’d like to donate money to help, you still can. Contact Lt. Dave Edwards at 801-381-6572.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson