Marfa, Texas - "We lose sight of the bigger picture, 'til we need you."
So said Texas Gov. Rick Perry to a large gathering of law enforcement officers and others at the fourth annual Big Bend Area Law Enforcement Memorial, held June 1 in Alpine, Texas. The event was held on the campus of Sul Ross State University.
The memorial was hosted by the U.S. Border Patrol's Marfa Sector and Chief Patrol Agent John J. Smietana, Jr., was the master of ceremonies.
Perry also said these law enforcement officers have "dedicated their lives to the safety of fellow Texans. The world they live in is risky. Their memory is carved in stone or carried in the hearts of their loved ones."
Two names were added to the event's Roll Call this year, including Border Patrol Agent Roberto J. Duran whose end of watch was March 6, 2002. The event memorializes those from West Texas who have died in the line of duty. Duran was from El Paso.
Perry was introduced by State Rep. Pete P. Gallego. Also speaking was Sul Ross State University President Ricardo Maestas.
Along with state and local law enforcement officers, CBP personnel from the Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations' El Paso Field Office participated as members of the color guard and the honor guard.
The BBALEOA is collecting donations to build a permanent memorial.
Sul Ross State University is named after a former Texas county sheriff and Texas Ranger.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.