Local family escorted through National Police Week
With his name forever immortalized on the Law Enforcement Monument, surviving widow Judy Talbert was “overwhelmed” by the events from May 11-16.
“When I saw his name added to the wall, I fell to my knees and couldn’t get back up,” said Talbert. “It was a very emotional and beautiful ceremony.”
In 1962, May 15 was designated Peace Officer’s Memorial Day, and the week in which the holiday falls became Police Week.
Police officers from all corners of the world flooded the U.S. Capitol, while the Talbert family visited the Capitol building and were given special treatment by police escort.
Celebrity actor Vince D’Onofrio of TV show “Law and Order” was also on hand to honor the memories of fallen officers.
Judy Talbert was accompanied by family and police friends throughout the events of the week.
Paul Sterling, who was Will Talbert’s partner on the police force, attended in his honor, as well as Judy’s three sons, David, Greg, and Will, and daughter Laura, along with their spouses and children.
At the ceremony, she said there were lit candles as far as the eye could see, and the “thin blue line” which signifies law enforcement shone straight into the sky.
He was crushed from the kidney down to the knee, and was forced to retire. Talbert and his family moved to Morgan County shortly after.
He was never supposed to walk again, but he walked on crutches out of that hospital “just to prove them wrong,” said his wife.
The 20 plus years between his accident and eventual passing in 2012 were filled with no shortage of obstacles, but it wasn’t the car which took him in the end.
After the accident, Talbert received blood transfusions for the blood loss common in being struck by a vehicle, having no idea the blood was tainted with Hepatitis C.
“He suffered a very long time, this is true,” said Judy Talbert. “But even if the times were tough, we had time together, and that’s better than no time at all.”
The Talbert household received over 400 cards of sympathy after his passing, which Judy Talbert has saved along with all his medals and commendations and letters from politicians.
“Will was always a cop, even after he retired,” said Judy Talbert. “He was the kind of man who saw other people running from danger, and strapped on a bullet-proof vest and ran towards the danger.”