Remembering the fallen

WARREN – They served their country by protecting others and were honored Monday for that sacrifice.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Frank Spano Lodge 12 held a memorial service Monday for fallen police officers by placing a wreath on the marker bearing the names of the two local police officers who died in the line of duty.

The names of Warren patrolman Irving Baker and police Chief Frank Flowers appear on the large maker in Monument Park in Courthouse Square.

The FOP dedicated the memorial at Monument Park in 2006. The 1,300-pound, 30-inch-wide and 6-foot-long granite slab sits south of the Log Cabin.

Jack Mounts, president of the local lodge, said the memorial service is held nationwide the third Monday in May.

”This is a way to pay tribute to those who were killed in the line of duty. It’s held a week before Memorial Day,” Mounts said.

Baker died in January 1933 from injuries he sustained in a brawl with a drunken bar patron who jumped the patrolman and crushed him against a utility pole. Baker’s lung was punctured and rib broken.

Flowers died in a car crash in April 1919, when the car the former Warren chief was traveling in passed a broken-down vehicle and hit an oncoming street car.

Sgt. Joseph O’Grady said Baker and Flowers are listed on memorial walls both in London, Ohio, and also in Washington, D.C., on the national wall of fallen officers.

Police Officer Brian Crites worked to get the men’s names on the national memorial.

Vic Scurry, a past president of the lodge, said it’s important to remember and honor the memory of those who gave their lives while protecting others.

”It’s an honor to be part of this and pay tribute,” he said.

Frank Spano, past president and 56-year member of the lodge, said similar events were being held nationwide.

Craig Bonar of the lodge said because his father was a firefighter he wants to be part of an event that honors all those in safety and law enforcement who helped others.

”It’s important that we support them in whatever ways we can,” he said.