From memorial speech for fallen employees, October 18, 2000
This memorial service symbolizes what our agency and its mission are all about, and that is "people." The Department of Corrections is, in essence, the men and women who work so hard, often thanklessly, to protect the public. Those who wear the uniform, who carry the badge, who walk the beat, who deal with offenders, whether in a prison or a dangerous neighborhood...they are the heart and soul of our agency.
Our agency has a rich history, one that is intertwined with the history of Florida. For the last century, the men and women who work in corrections have played a key role in making our state what it is.
Those who respect and follow the law, who seek a safe and prosperous community, have always understood and appreciated what we in corrections do.
Public service is the hallmark of our agency. Those who do not wish to serve and protect the public need not apply to our ranks. Those we honor today did not work for gain or glory, for rank or title. They did their duty, and died while doing it. Law-abiding citizens everywhere owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.
|"Every morning before you get up to go to work, you basically say a prayer. 'Lord, protect me this day.' Because you never know what you're going to be confronted with. You might have to fight today or lock up somebody...You never know what to expect."|
Those who work in corrections have always been close-knit. It is often said we are like a family. All of us here today are deeply moved and grateful for the sacrifices the fellow members of our family have made. All gave some, and some gave all.
Their legacy lives on and they will never be forgotten. Their names will be carved on the stone tablets behind you, but they are also inscribed on our hearts, and will live in our memories, forever.
Thank you and God Bless you.