The Hall County Sheriff's Office held a Table of Honor ceremony at the Hall County Sheriff's Office headquarters in Gainesville on Monday.
The ceremony marked National Police Week with a remembrance of fallen officers who died in the line of duty.
"Our ceremony today remembers our brothers and sisters who have lost their lives," Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said. "Each of us in law enforcement takes an oath to protect and serve, no matter the circumstances," he said.
According to Couch, 163 officers were killed in the U.S.. in the line of duty for 2018; Of the 163 killed, six officers were killed in Georgia.
"Already this year, we have seen 41 line of duty deaths nationwide," Couch said.
The Table of Honor ceremony was inspired by the Missing Man Table, also known as a Fallen Comrade Table. The Missing Man Table is a ceremony or memorial that is displayed in military dining facilities of the United States Armed Forces and during official dining events, Couch said.
"Our table of honor will remain here in the lobby for all to see as a reminder during National Police Week," Couch said.
During the ceremony, Couch explained each piece of the Honor Table as followed:
- The table: it is set for one, though the number is many.
- The chair: it is empty, because the fallen can no longer join us.
- The white tablecloth: symbolizes the purity of the fallen's intentions to serve their communities.
- The candle: it is lit, symbolizing their spirit to serve.
- The glass: it is inverted, because the fallen cannot drink nor toast on this day.
- A slice of lemon: a reminder of the fallen's bitter fate.
- a single red rose: it is displayed in a vase as a reminder of the fallen's family and loved ones.
- Salt upon the plate: symbolic of their tears.
- The tied blue ribbon: a reminder of the "thins blue line" which stands strong before those who would destroy law and order in our nation.