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Silent Tribute Honors Fallen Officers

August 2, 2012, 9:50 PM by Derek Olson

Silent Tribute Honors Fallen Officers
RAPID CITY, SD -

One year ago, Rapid City police officers Nick Armstrong and Ryan McCandless responded to a complaint call that turned into a shootout, claiming their life and injuring a third officer.

To honor them, a silent tribute was held Thursday at the crime scene.

At 4:30 p.m., the same time that the gunfire erupted last year, the police honor guard took their post at the monument where they will stay until sundown.  It's a silent honor to the sacrifice made by police officers Armstrong and McCandless.

"They had how many years left of service? They had how many years left of protecting this community? And we're here today to pay our respects for two lives that were cut too short," tribute attendee Heather Valley said.

"I believe there's been a lot of healing going on and a lot of reflecting on these two officers who put on their uniform daily and did their job," tribute attendee Tom Dalton said.

For people who were here a year ago, the memories are still vivid.

"I was up above on the hill there and had just gotten out of the movies when we heard the shots and came down this way.  It wasn't a very pretty scene," Dalton said.

"I was in shock. I turned the corner and saw the fire trucks, saw the police tape and everything taped off.  I didn't know what had happened and I take this road everyday to go get my kids," Valley said.

But now the crime scene has transformed into a memorial.

"It helps to remind us how much we appreciate how much they're doing, what they're doing out here.  They're here to help us, protect us," Dalton said.

Seven members of the honor guard participated in the tribute, along with members of the Rapid City Fire Department.

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