Posted at: 02/24/2013 11:53 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
(ABC 6 News) -- 97 years ago to the date, a Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed. Sunday, he was honored for the first time.
Floyd County Deputy Levi Bowers was killed in 1916. But the Sheriff’s office didn’t know about it until just last month.
The ceremony was held at Deputy Levi Bowers’ gravesite at Riverside Cemetery in Rockford. Around 20 Floyd County Deputies, community members, and even a great-grandson of Deputy Bowers were at the ceremony. It was a chance to honor the life of a man who gave his life, protecting his community.
In a ceremony long overdue, deputies stood at attention for one of their own, killed in the line of duty, 97 years ago.
"Dedicated in memory of Deputy Sheriff Levi A. Bowers, Floyd County Sheriff's. November 19th 1857 to February 24th, 1916. Killed in the line of duty.
On February 24, 1916, Deputy Bowers along with Constable Walt Graham went to a local man's home to arrest him for a local doctor. Shortly after encountering, the suspect, in the home, the man shot and killed Deputy Bowers,” read a Deputy.
"For years, Levi has been forgotten. All deputies that worked for Floyd County, no one had a clue that one of our own had passed in the line of duty. 97 years ago today,” said Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Crooks.
Among those honoring Deputy Bowers ultimate sacrifice was his great grandson.
"It not only closed the loops on some of the questions I had, about my great grandfather's past and my family's past,” said Thomas Dyer.
An opportunity to learn about his great grandfather and to honor those who followed in his footsteps.
"I think he wouldn't have drawn attention to himself, but equally so he would've wanted me to use it as an opportunity to thank the folks that are serving today their community and their country,” said Dyer.
"People do see the job as important, that there's a reason that we do this job and people sometimes, we deal with they're not the friendliest people, but there are people that know this job is important, public safety is important,” said Crooks.
Important enough to hold a ceremony for an officer, 97 years later.
The deputies at the ceremony wore a black band over their badge, which are often worn when mourning the death of an officer.