Hilliard police officers now carry a daily reminder of the sacrifices made by first responders during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
Police Chief Doug Francis unveiled a new badge design for Hilliard police officers during the city's annual memorial ceremony Sept. 11 at First Responders Park at Main and Center streets in Old Hilliard.
"I stood here one year ago today and said again we never will forget," said Francis, who issued a directive for all police personnel to switch to the new badges at 7 p.m. Sept. 11, when the ceremony began.
The new shields feature a relief engraving of First Responders Park, which opened in 2010 and memorializes the nearly 3,000 people -- including hundreds of first responders -- killed by terrorists using hijacked commercial airliners.
The idea for a new shield was suggested earlier this year by members of the Hilliard Division of Police's uniform committee, officer Hyda Slone said.
Bruce Muraco, a former police officer and husband of Hilliard officer Suzanne Muraco, took pictures of several Hilliard landmarks and submitted them to Sun Badge Co.
After reviewing a few prototypes, "we knew we wanted First Responders Park on our shield," Slone said.
Francis said he considers the new badge a means to further cement the police division's pledge to never forget.
Mayor Don Schonhardt pinned the new shield on Francis during the memorial ceremony.
"You can get over the loss, but you can never forget," Schonhardt said. "We are here to honor our commitment to never forget."
The Boys in Blue and Blue Ladies, select vocalists from choirs at Hilliard Davidson High School, performed the national anthem at the service.
Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol; officers from the Reynoldsburg and West Jefferson police departments and Metro Parks; and firefighters from the Jackson Township Fire Department in Grove City were among those who attended the memorial service.