Watauga County Prepares for Day of Remembrance
The scars of a year ago are still visible throughout Watauga County. A community stricken with grief was uplifted by friends and strangers alike in the wake of the tragic events of April 28th, 2021. While the emotions of those days will forever remain etched in our hearts and minds, we move forward as a community thanks to the signs of hope and unity that have shown through over the last year.
Earlier this month, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring April as a month of remembrance for Watauga County’s Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Sergeant Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox. Flags throughout the community will be flown at half-staff on April 28th and citizens, businesses, and State and local government agencies throughout Watauga County are encouraged to observe a moment of silence at Noon Thursday, as well as illuminate a blue light Thursday evening.
A local non-profit, Back Our Blue Watauga, was formed last summer as a service organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and protection of our local law enforcement officers through fundraising. In March of this year, the group presented the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department with a check for $5,000 to fund the purchase of 12 ballistic helmets for officers. The group of local advocates are organizing the community-wide Burn a Blue Bulb tribute on the evening of the 28th. Local electrical wholesale company, CED, donated their remaining stock of blue lights to Back Our Blue Watauga and local businesses like New River Building Supply have been stocking blue bulbs in anticipation of the tributes.
A memorial service to honor the Ligon family will be held at 8:30 am on Thursday, April 28th outside on the grounds of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone. George and Michelle Ligon led the High Country business and tourism communities with bright smiles, an endless desire to connect people, and a willingness to serve those in need. Their spirit of volunteerism through church and other community organizations are among the many traits that stand out about two of the most beloved and respected people in the High Country. Thursday’s service will be performed by several members of the local clergy and the community is welcome to attend.
This week is a heavy one throughout our community as we pay our respects to those lives lost and continue to seek answers about how to address the realities of these tragic events. When people in the High County are in need, our community unites. This moment of reflection provides an opportunity to check-in on those you care about and find space for conversation, as the many people who had relationships with those lost continue to grieve. As we pay our respects to those fallen, we can borrow strength from those that have found little rays of hope and positivity to help our community rebound from one of its most challenging moments.