Riverside police, firefighters honored

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By Freedom Moreno

By Freedom Moreno

The 2007 American Legion District 21 Law & Order Awards were held at Post 79, which is located in Fairmont Park.

“The American Legion is a veterans’ organization comprised of members of the military from all branches who served during times of war,” said 1st Vice Commander Pete Ramos. “The American Legion District 21 represents 22 Legion Posts in Riverside County from Temecula to Blythe and has well over 6,000 members The American Legion’s Law and Order program is a nationwide program hosted by various Legion Posts throughout the United States to recognize and honor law enforcement and firefighters who serve our communities.”

The evening started off with District Commander Rees Lloyd who welcomed the guests as well as fellow officers. The Air Force JROTC of Rubidoux High School put on a wonderful Presentation of Colors, really setting the mood for the night.

The Awards were to honor and appreciate various officers of Riverside County departments such as Banning, Corona, and Palm Springs as well as the California Highway Patrol. “Officer of the year” was awarded to CHP Officer John D. Owens, whom was commended for his efforts, duties, and success.

A strong sense of unity was felt among the guests, and even more so when Max Copenhagen of the U.S. Forest service began the commemoration of the five U.S. Forest Service firefighters whose lives were lost in the Esperanza tragedy which took place in October 2006. Several of the firefighter’s families accepted awards which honored the deceased.

The featured guest speaker for the dinner was Assemblyman John Benoit. Other guests and participants included the Riverside County Legionnaires, Ladies Auxiliary, American Legion regional officers, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, and U.S. Forest Fire Services.

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