SGV – The Annual Memorial Torch Relay Run was first established in 1976 to honor the memory of the brave and dedicated peace officers in Los Angeles County who sacrificed their lives in the performance of their duties. This year’s event, marking the 37th memorial relay, was held Fri., May 16 through Sun., May 18, originating at the Sherman Block Sheriff’s Headquarters Building in Monterey Park and ending at the Altadena Sheriff’s Station.
According to a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, this run consisted of 58 legs of varying distance in a non-stop journey that covered over 300 miles. Approximately 75 runners started the relay from headquarters and ran four miles to the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station to hand off the torch. This special memorial torch passed each of the mainland’s stations in the three days – including Walnut/Diamond Bar, City of Industry, Temple City and San Dimas – with nearly 2,000 runners participating.
As we approach Memorial Day, you can join the Sheriff’s Departments by remembering these fallen heroes who were honored in this year’s Memorial Torch Relay Run:
- Officer Christopher Cortijo, LAPD – End of Watch April 9, 2014
- Officer Nicholas C. Lee, LAPD – End of Watch March 7, 2014
- Sgt. Leonard R. Luna, Jr., Hawthorne PD – End of Watch July 8, 2013
In addition, historical research has determined that Deputy Adolfo Celis, Constable Anton Harnischfeger, Deputy Constable Anthony B. Couts, Constable John S. Pilcher, Deputy James L. McDermott and Sergeant Raymond C. Willis of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died in the line of duty between 1883 and 1957. These names will be added to the Memorial Wall.
The memorial torch that the runners carry and pass throughout the course is used to light the ceremonial flame that is ignited in tribute of the fallen officers. This year’s ceremony was held on Wed., May 21 at the L.A. County Peace Officers’ Memorial Wall at the STARS (Sheriff’s Training Academy and Regional Services) Center in Whittier.