CBP 2010 Ceremonies Honor Fallen Heroes
Customs and Border Protection held a private Valor Memorial Ceremony Thursday to honor two Border Patrol agents who died in the line of duty in 2009 as well as the men and women of CBP and its legacy agencies who have previously given their lives while working to protect the United States and its citizens.
CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin hosted the Valor Memorial ceremony and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was the guest speaker at the event.
CBP employees, families and invited guests came together to honor Senior Patrol Agent Cruz C. McGuire and Border Patrol Agent Robert W. Rosas, whose names were added to the Valor Memorial in the lobby of CBP Headquarters in Washington, D.C., that stands as a silent sentinel to the dedication of these men and women.
"Like their colleagues in the Border Patrol, Agent McGuire and Agent Rosas were members of our frontline defense against threats to our nation - from illegal drugs and weapons to human smugglers, gang members, and drug trafficking organizations," said Napolitano. "Every day, they used their training and god-given talents to keep dangerous people and things from entering our country."
Agent McGuire, of the Del Rio Texas Station, collapsed the morning of May 21, 2009. Attempts by his fellow agents and medical professionals to revive him were unsuccessful. Emblematic of Agent McGuire's career dedication, he was working a trail with fellow agents when he collapsed. He was doing exactly what he wanted to do each and every day.
On July 23, 2009, Agent Rosas, of Campo, California Border Patrol Station, was working near the U.S.-Mexico international border near Campo, California. At about 9 p.m., he was on foot, responding to suspected illegal cross-border activity. Moments later, a fellow agent heard multiple gun shots towards the area where Agent Rosas was located. After a brief search, Agent Rosas was found lying on the ground, mortally wounded.
"There is an old police saying that we always lose the best and most promising," said Bersin. "We lose the best because they are leaders. They are the ones out front, the ones willing to step forward to take on the risks of the most difficult assignments, so that you and I might live in communities that are safe and free from fear."
Prior to the Valor Memorial Ceremony, CBP held a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza outside its headquarters to publicly honor the fallen officers and agents of CBP and those of its predecessor organizations. The event was open to all CBP employees as well as the general public.
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.