By Sandra Abdelmalak/Garden Grove Journal
They are the “Fallen Five,” Sergeant Myron L. Trapp, Officer Andy Reese, Officer Donald F. Reed, Officer Michael Rainford and Master Officer Howard Dallies, who were killed in the line of duty.
“They don’t do it for money, they don’t do it for honor, they just do it because there’s something inside you that says to. It’s a calling,” said Officer Luis Contreres, who comes from a military background and has been working in Garden Grove for the last 15 months.
This year, Garden Grove honored their five fallen officers once again in the 25th Annual Memorial Service, held on Thursday, May 17. Helicopters flew over the sky, gunmen fired into the air, and bagpipers played all in honor of the sacrifice made by these officers.
“We should keep them in our hearts and remember that they made our city safer,” said Yazbeck Muro, a fourth grader from Anderson Elementary School.
The theme for this year’s memorial service was connecting the youth with the past. Along with Muro, fifth-grader, Angel Bui, and sixth- grader, Katie Kamikubo read their speeches on what it means to be a police officer. Also, the Garden Grove High School Choir performed the “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Amazing Grace,” and “Proud to Be an American.”
“Hearing ‘Amazing Grace,’ it chokes me up,” said Officer Contreres. “A lot of people don’t understand that. To them it’s just words. But to me it’s much more than that, it’s experience, it’s friends, it’s love lost.”
Each of the families of the Fallen Five was presented with a bouquet of flowers to acknowledge their losses and a eulogy was read for every officer.
“I think it means so much to the families of the fallen,” said Mary Reese, the daughter-in-law of the late Andy Reese. “I know Helen’s whole family comes every year,” she said about her widowed mother-in-law.
“They’re human beings just like the rest of us, they have families just like the rest of us,” said Nancy McFaul, a crime analyst in the Garden Grove agency for over 25 years. “I think without this kind of ceremony and without this kind of presentation, people lose sight of that.”
McFaul knew and worked with three of the fallen officers and she recalled with tears the difficulty of losing, what she referred to as, “members of the family.”
“It’s an honor to be here and to see them honored and for the community to come out and support not only them and their families but the department itself,” said McFaul.