With a ceremony that included bagpipes and an honor guard, state police Troop C honored members who died in the line of duty with Memorial Day ceremonies Thursday at its Sidney headquarters.
“While this morning’s ceremony affords us an opportunity to renew old friendships, our thoughts and warmest memories are focused on those whom we gather to bestow tribute on,” Troop C Commander Kevin Molinari said. He is retiring next month following a 35-year career.
“It is a tradition to set time aside and reflect on the lives and spirit of the fallen members of Troop C. The common bond and deep commitment we share with one another goes far beyond spoken words,” he said. “At no time does that bond manifest itself more clearly than when a police officer is killed in the line of duty.”
There have been 16 members of the troop who are so honored. The most recently is trooper Jill E. Mattice, who died in January 2010 in an auto accident while returning to the Oneonta barracks after an assignment.
Also included is Inv. Ricky J. Parisian, who died in 1994 while trying to stop a robbery at an Oneonta supermarket while off duty.
Two of his family members were interviewed following the ceremony. His widow, Debra Parisian, said: “It’s a special day when families come together. It’s a chance to stand with others and absorb their loss as well as our. It makes us realize our family is a lot bigger then we can ever imagine.”
His brother, Mark Parisian, a retired trooper said it’s a “bittersweet” day.
With the recent 19th anniversary of Ricky’s death, “it’s really fresh,” he said, adding: “I feel the love of all the people who are here,”
Molinari said the day is a reminder to fallen troopers’ families that they will never be forgotten.