Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Lily Donaldson (Bolton High School)
On August 5, police officers held a ‘Sea of Blue’ in honor of fallen officer, Sean Bolton, starting at Walnut Grove and traveling through I-240. A Sea of Blue is a ceremony honoring officers killed in the line of duty where a procession of police vehicles travels on a blocked off road flashing their blue lights.
The Memphis Police Department held its inaugural memorial Sea of Blue on May 11. It honors the memory of all police officers killed each year.
“This event serves as a reminder to every law enforcement officer of the dangers that our profession holds and the ultimate sacrifice made by officers killed in the line of duty as well as the sacrifices made every day by law enforcement officers throughout our Nation,” said Director Toney Armstrong, according to the Memphis Police Facebook page.
Along with the annual event, Memphis police departments usually have a Sea of Blue for every individual officer in their department that is killed in the line of duty. The most recent one was in honor of Bolton, who was killed at a traffic stop.
During Bolton’s Sea of Blue, Memphians lined up on I-240 waving their hands and blue flags to show their support. Many parents brought their children to see the police officers light up the night sky bright blue. The procession went on for miles, and every time it looked as if it was about to end, another wave of police vehicles would come, wailing their sirens and honking their horns in appreciation when spectators waved.
Officer Bolton’s suspected killer, Tremaine Wilbourn, turned himself in after an extensive manhunt that lasted for two days.
Bolton is the third Memphis police officer killed in the line of duty since Armstrong became the director of the department four years ago.