76 years later, sister of fallen RI state trooper honored at cer - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

76 years later, sister of fallen RI state trooper honored at ceremony

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By: Alexandra Cowley 

A special memorial service Tuesday, honoring police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. In the audience, a 102-year-old Cranston woman, who was brought to tears as her brother's name was read aloud.

"Trooper Joseph J. Gallivan badge number 85 class of 1935, end of watch June 22, 1937," read a trooper at a ceremony at RI State Police headquarters in Scituate. It's been 76 years since Mary Gallivan lost her brother Joseph, a Rhode Island state trooper. She clinches the original article published about his death. He was killed in the line of duty in a car accident while responding to a fire near Ashaway.

Still, today's ceremony triggered a wave of emotion for Mary, who just turned 102-years-old.

"Oh it meant everything to me because it brought back wonderful memories of my brother, the trooper, he was just wonderful, outstanding," smiled Mary. 

Trooper Gallivan was one of seven killed in the line of the duty in Rhode Island. The names of the fallen were recognized Tuesday, the 23rd annual memorial ceremony.

State Police Colonel Steven O'Donnell said, "These are men and women that everyday lace it up, put on a uniform, and go to work. There's expectations that they may not go home and that's a pretty powerful message to law enforcement, I think."

Mary stood and was recognized with her cousins who helped bring her here.

"It was touching, very touching, I couldn't help it, but I filled up and cried," she said. 

"They were very close, and in very many ways she feels very close to him particularly being on the state police campus," explained her cousin Bill Fleming.

"I thought the world of him and he said to me oh Mary, I'll never leave you," she smiled. 

The badge numbers of the seven fallen state police troopers were retired in a ceremony last year.

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