Fort Worth

‘We Will Never Forget': Fort Worth Honors Its Fallen Police Officers

The city of Fort Worth honored its fallen police officers Wednesday night, and the annual ceremony had a deeper meaning following the death of Cpl. Garrett Hull last fall.

A flag raised, a silent salute and a list of names of the fallen read aloud by survivors -- these are the rituals of saying goodbye.

Jenna Freeto was 3 years old when her father, Officer Dwayne Freeto, was hit and killed by a drunk driver while on duty. She honored him at the ceremony through the timeless ritual of playing taps on her trumpet.

"I do miss him, but I don't miss him as a person, I miss him as a figure because I didn't really remember him in my life," Jenna said.

When memory fades, the police family is here to be sure we all do the work of remembering together.

"There will always be open arms in this police department for each and every one of you," Chief Joel Fitzgerald told the families of the fallen. "You will always be a part of our family and we will never forget."

The loss is especially fresh for Hull's family. He was shot and killed in September while he and his team stopped three armed robbers.

Hull's children and widow read off his name together, saying: "And our daddy, and our beloved, Garrett W. Hull 9/14/2018."

But in their pain, their family only grows stronger with fellow widows, parents and children there to step in.

"I had another Fort Worth widow, Teresa Nava, she came over to my house, it was almost like an instant peace, I knew she knew what I was feeling," Freeto's widow Karen Rutherford said.

Wednesday night they stood side-by-side, the survivors of sacrifice and the thankful who will never let them go.

As Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn put it: "We are duty-bound with love and joy to surround you always."

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