Raleigh police honor officer killed in line of duty

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Officer Denise Holden died in a crash while responding to a call (WTVD)

The Raleigh Police Department is making sure no sacrifice will ever be forgotten. In a special wreath-laying ceremony Thursday, officers honored one of their own killed in the line of duty more than two decades ago.

Bagpipes played as Ronda Holden, along with her family, made her way to the Raleigh Police Memorial that bears her big sister's name. It was on August 4, 1995 when Officer Denise Holden, on the force not even a year, responded to an urgent officer needs assistance call when she lost control of her patrol car and crashed into a utility pole on the corner of Morgan and Hillsborough Streets. Holden died at the scene.

"We were saddened, but at the same time we were also proud that she was on her way to aid someone else," said Ronda. "She lost her life trying to save or be of help to someone else in their time of need."

Wanting to learn more about each of the eight Raleigh officers killed in the line of duty, Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown pulled Holden's file and started reading.

"In her application she wrote, 'I see the duty of the police officer as one who preserves peace.'" Deck-Brown recited during the ceremony. "She went on to say in her writing, 'I am a strong believer that our youth are our future. And I can help a great deal of our youth detour from crime and detour from becoming victims of crime.'"

While Ronda never knew about what her sister wrote on her application, she said it's very fitting.

"It's just exciting to know that in her application, that she spoke those words of protecting and serving our youth because that's what it's all about," she said.

"We have to be inspired by that service and that commitment and understanding sacrifices that are made along the way," said Deck-Brown. "We can only imagine what the continued impact would've looked like by Denise's legacy of serving here in our city."

The Raleigh Police Memorial was unveiled in 2014. The police department is now holding a wreath-laying ceremony for each of the eight officers who've made the ultimate sacrifice.

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