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Slain Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Shane Nicholson honored at Suns game

August 08, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Larry Nicholson said it doesn't get any easier as the days pass since his son, former Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Shane Nicholson, was shot and killed in the line of duty in December.

"Some days it's good," he said. "But most days it's not."

Nicholson said he was grateful that his son was honored before a Hagerstown Suns game Friday night at Municipal Stadium. As part of the ceremony, Nicholson and Christopher's mother, Karen Highbarger, were presented with memorial flags from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, an organization that is dedicated, in part, to preserving the memory of officers who died in the line of duty.

"It's great to know (Christopher) made such a big impression on so many people," Nicholson said.

"I feel very honored," said Highbarger, who threw out the first pitch. "It's all been bittersweet. I'm very proud of (Christopher). I'm thankful for all the support."

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In addition to the tribute to Officer Nicholson, representatives from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund accepted a $500 check from the Illiano Group, which owns the franchise rights to several Greene Turtle restaurants in Maryland. John Shanks, a spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, said the money would be used to help maintain the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The memorial bears the names of 18,274 American law-enforcement officials who have died in the line of duty since the 18th century. A ceremony was held in the spring to add the name of Officer Nicholson.

"We lost 181 in 2007," Shanks said. "It was one of the most costly years in three decades. We lost 69 (so far this year)."

The Memorial Fund is actively raising money to help build an $80 million National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., Shanks said. The 90,000-square foot museum will be built completely underground and feature interactive displays, including a chase simulator.

Shanks said the museum's construction should begin in a few months and be finished by 2011.

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