Troopers honor fallen comrades

HOLLIDAYSBURG – At the Troop G Headquarters in Hollidaysburg, troopers and the public gathered Friday to pay tribute to the 94 troopers killed in the line of duty since the inception of the Pennsylvania State Police in 1905.

“From 1905 to today, the world around us has changed so very much, yet in reality very little has changed,” Troop G Commanding Officer Capt. Maynard H. Gray said during the memorial service. “The necessary struggle against violence, illegal drugs and crime continues ever so prominently today.”

Gray noted the service was not only to remember fallen troopers, but to honor the men and women who put on a state police uniform to serve the people of Pennsylvania.

“Today, we are here to honor all police officers who accept the responsibility and dangerous challenges to protect and serve,” Gray said. “Few understand this responsibility, but it is one that everyone benefits from because it is essential that we make our society a safer place to live and raise our children.”

Lt. Troy Park read the names of four Troop G troopers who were killed while on duty. Their names are etched on the monument at the state police academy in Hershey along with 90 others.

Trooper Dean Zeigler died in 1942 as a result of a car crash; Trooper Floyd B. Clouse was shot to death in 1971 while serving a warrant; Cpl. John S. Valent was killed while transporting several juveniles to Lewistown in 1971; and Sgt. Arthur L. Hershey, a Huntingdon native, died in 1999 while assisting at the scene of a traffic accident.

Although too windy for the state police helicopter, other gear and equipment was on display for the public.

“I have a couple of family members with the state police,” said Mark Hileman, 70, of Hollidaysburg, who brought his grandson, Caleb Hileman, to the event. “I just like to come out and support the cause.”

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.