FBI Dallas Honors Fallen Agents in National Police Week Message

Matthew DeSarno, special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Office, and others from the division acknowledge special agents who gave their lives to an adversarial action or in the performance of their duties.

Video Transcript

Good morning. My name is Matthew DeSarno. I’m the special agent in charge of FBI Dallas. I’m joined by my senior leadership team today as we conduct our 2020 Law Enforcement Memorial Service to remember the fallen FBI service martyrs.

The men and women we remember today were dedicated public servants.  They were our colleagues and friends.  But we shared with them a greater bond – a bond that can never be broken. 

This is my second annual memorial service here in Dallas.  Last year, we had the opportunity to honor our fallen colleagues and partners during my first week in the office.  That was quite a powerful way to be introduced to this outstanding division, and I will always cherish that experience.

This year is also unique.  We are forced to find an appropriate way to honor those who gave everything to this job and to the citizens they served.  We would certainly prefer a proper ceremony where we could spend time together and greet each other with a handshake or a hug, but under the circumstances, we can at least be together in spirit, and pay our respects virtually.

This year we added Special Agent Nelson B. Klein, Jr., and Electronics Technician William “Homer” Lewis to our Wall of Honor.  Special Agent Klein, Jr. was killed in an automobile accident in May 1969, and this year his death was finally determined to be in the line of duty.  Sadly, his father, Special Agent Nelson Klein was also killed in the line of duty in 1935.  Homer Lewis is the second professional staff employee to be added to the Wall of Honor.  Like too many other FBI Employees, he died of cancer that was determined to be a result of his work at the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks.

I can think of nothing more important than pausing to honor those we’ve lost – these heroes, in the truest sense of the word. 

Tennis great and humanitarian Arthur Ashe once said, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

It’s that urge to serve that marked the men and women we honor today as true heroes. 

FBI agents, and all law enforcement officers, work long hours, longer than most people will ever know.  They don’t get paid much money.  And much of what they do goes on behind the scenes, and is rarely recognized by the public. 

So, it takes a very special kind of person to choose a life in law enforcement.  You’ve got to really want to help people to make that choice.  Because every day, when agents and officers say goodbye to their families, they know there’s a chance that they might not make it home that night. 

Each person we honor today recognized that risk and chose to accept it so that countless others would not have to. That’s more than ordinary dedication to the job. That’s more than ordinary service. That’s true heroism.

Each year, we read the rollcall of far too many agents and partners who have paid that “heaviest price.” Whether they left us in the last year or many years ago, these heroes gave their lives in service.  Service to the Bureau. Service to their communities. Service to the American people. 

For that, we owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. 

So, we will continue to come together to remember them each year. 

We will read their names. 

We will call to mind their faces and their stories. 

We will reflect on their sacrifices. 

And in doing all of this, we at the Dallas Field Office will renew our own commitment to carrying their legacies forward. 

Edwin C. Shanahan

Paul E. Reynolds

Raymond J. Caffrey

W. Carter Baum

Samuel P. Cowley

Herman E. Hollis

Nelson B. Klein

Wimberly W. Baker

Truett E. Rowe

William R. Ramsey

Hubert J. Treacy, Jr.

Joseph J. Brock

J. Brady Murphy

Richard P. Horan

Terry R. Anderson

Douglas M. Price

Anthony Palmisano

Edwin R. Woodriffe

Gregory W. Spinelli

Jack R. Coler

Ronald A. Williams

Johnnie L. Oliver

Charles W. Elmore

J. Robert Porter

Robin L. Ahrens

Jerry Dove

Benjamin P. Grogan

L. Douglas Abram

John L. Bailey

Martha Dixon Martinez

Michael John Miller

William H. Christian, Jr.

Charles Leo Reed

Leonard W. Hatton

Barry Lee Bush

Samuel S. Hicks

Albert L. Ingle

Percy E. Foxworth

Harold Dennis Haberfeld

Richard Blackstone Brown

Lee E. Morrow

Joseph Irel Hart

Billie Wade Taylor

Charles Linson Brown, Jr.

Edward J. Knartzer, Jr.

Sheila Jean Regan

Trenwith S. Basford

Mark A. Kirkland

Robert W. Conners

Charles L. Ellington

Terry Burnett Hereford

Michael James Lynch

James K. McAllister

Scott K. Carey

Stanley Ronquest, Jr.

Paul A. LeVeille

Robert R. Hardesty

Gregory J. Rahoi

Paul H. Wilson

Robert Martin Roth

Sang T. Jun

Paul M. Sorce

Laurie Fournier

Jerry D. Jobe

Daniel L. Knapp

Gerard D. Senatore

William Robert Craig

Christopher W. Lorek

Stephen P. Shaw

Mark Joseph Mikulski

Steven A. Carr

Wesley J. Yoo

Rex Aaron Stockham

Rickey O’Donald

Mark Johnston

Dennis Bonelli

Melissa S. Morrow

David J. LeValley

Brian Lawrence Crews

Throughout the year on the anniversary of the end of watch of our service martyrs, the entire organization receives an email entitled “Remember our Fallen” providing details about the life and death of that hero. 

These emails, the interactive Wall of Honor, the memorial services and displays conducted throughout the country, and this ceremony here today are clear indications that honoring our fallen colleagues who have given their lives in service to our Bureau, and our communities is a critical part of our culture. 

Honoring our fallen motivates us to make them proud of the organization they gave their life serving.

In addition to the fallen heroes we have honored, we must acknowledge that we have personally experience significant loss this year. 

On September 21, 2019, CTOC Specialist Milton “Terry” Sanders died suddenly at home as a result of a cardiac arrest.  Terry was a kind, compassionate professional.  Terry took pride in his work and loved his family dearly.  He was a great cook, and a wonderful story teller.  Terry’s colleagues in the Dallas Operations Center, and many around the office, miss him dearly, and we have dedicated the Operations Center in his memory.

On April 25, 2020 Arabic Linguist Dimitri Angelopoulos died in the hospital as a result of complications related to COVID-19.  Dimitri served in the Dallas Field Office for 14 years, and he was a wise mentor to many people.  Dimitri loved to say he was Greek by Origin, Egyptian by birth, and American by choice. He was a patriot and a proud FBI employee.  Dimitri is sorely missed by his friends and colleagues here in Dallas, and his family continues to struggle with both the loss of Dimitri, and the disease itself.  Please continue to pray for Dimitri’s family and friends.

Thank you to Lisa Redwine, Zac Ramsey, and Dan Thompson for making this memorial happen.

Finally, a nod to the FBI Agents Association. Thank you for providing the flowers for this ceremony, and to the Dallas Chapter of the society of former Special Agents. Typically, we share this ceremony with you, and you frequently provide a meal for us to share. Hopefully this is the last time we’ll have to do this ceremony like this and next year we will be able to continue our tradition to honoring our fallen together with you at the society.

Thank you for your continued support of FBI Dallas.

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