Peace Officers Remembered

In observance of National Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15 and Police Week, May14-20, area law enforcement will be paying tribute to four fallen officers of Holt County who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Each day the law enforcement officers are conducting a wreath laying ceremony on the front lawn area of the Holt County Courthouse in O'Neill or inside in the main lobby in case of inclement weather. Following the presentation of the wreath at noon, an officer will stand until 1 p.m. in honor of the officer being recognized that day as well as their family.

Participating in the event are the Atkinson Police Department, Ewing Police Department, Holt County Sheriff's Office and O'Neill Police Department.

"We would like to thank all those who took time out of their day to attend the peace officer memorial ceremonies," said OPD Chief Matthew Otte. "It is imperative we continue to recognize the dedication and sacrifice these law enforcement officers and their families gave to our communities."

On Monday, O'Neill Chief Chester "Chet" Calkins of O'Neill was recognized. Chief Calkins, age 51 at the time, was shot six times and killed as he sat in his patrol car. A suspect was arrested for the murder and sentenced to life in prison on June 27, 1953.

Ewing Marshal Albert Anson was recognized on Tuesday. On Jan. 24, 1971, a wedding reception was being held at the Twin Rivers Steak House in Ewing. Marshal Anson was brutally assaulted by Robin Fletcher and his family while trying to prevent a fight from escalating. He never fully recovered from his injuries and passed away on Dec. 1, 1971.

On Wednesday, Stuart City Marshal Delbert Addison was honored. Marshal Addison, 51, was shot and killed on Sept. 27, 1964, by a father seeking revenge for his son's arrest. He had arrested the teenager for a traffic violation after giving the boy a warning for the same violation the previous week. The boy's father found Marshal Addison near the town square and began an argument. The man suddenly pulled out a revolver and shot Marshal Addison in front of the marshal's wife.

Holt County Sheriff Bernard Kearns will be honored on Thursday. On March 28, 1881, Sheriff Kearns, 30, was shot and killed after breaking up a disturbance being caused by a group of cowboys. One of the men was able to get a friend to accompany him to confront the sheriff later in the day. When they did so, the friend opened fire on Sheriff Kearns, killing him.

On Friday, all law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty will be recognized.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.