Wow, what a great appreciation rally yesterday for our local law enforcement officers and first responders! There were all sorts of citizens, from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds there, to show their support for the men and women of local law enforcement. The wonderful residents of greater Bakersfield and Kern County showed up in the hundreds and braved the cold, to recognize the sacrifices and dangers of our officers. They also had an opportunity to express their thanks by signing messages on large agency thank you cards. We concluded with a balloon release around the peace officer memorial, in tribute to those people that have given their lives while trying to protect our community.
After the invocation, the Bakersfield High School ROTC presented the colors, the National Anthem was beautifully sung by Zachery Pierce. Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, as a large American flag waved above from a Braun Electric service truck. Guest speakers included retired Kern County Sheriff Carl Sparks, Chad Vegas – Son of a Fallen Officer, Jean Kimbriel – Victim of a home invasion and Amber Sikola-Rodriquez – Daughter of a Fallen Officer.
Tony Whitnack from KNZR radio did a fantastic job hosting the event. At its conclusion, California State Assembly Member Rudy Salas presided over the memorial balloon release, while the widow of Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Hudnall and his young son released their balloon of remembrance into the sky.
A number of public and private community leaders attended: Bakersfield Council Member – Bob Smith, Former Bakersfield City Council Member – Russell Johnson (Co-Organizer), Bakersfield West Rotary – Kevin Burton, Karen Goh – CEO Garden Pathways, Jon Busy – President of the Kern Law Enforcement Foundation (Sponsor), Brian Sandrini – President of the Kern County 999 Foundation (Sponsor), along with other community members that sold support shirts and provided public assistance information.
I would like to thank all of the sponsors that helped make this important support rally a reality. I would also like to thank the Armed Forces Support Riders, which normally provide motorcycle escorts for departing or returning services members for also recognizing the service of our local law enforcement and first responders.
Thank you too, to radio station KNZR (Sponsor) The Jaz McKay Show & The Tony Whitnack Show; KERN Radio – The Ralph Bailey Show; The Bakersfield Californian & First Look with Scott Cox; Bakersfield TV News Channels; 17 KGET, 23 KERO, 29 KBAK and KUZZ radio news for their wonderful interviews, stories and pictures about this event. But most importantly the citizens of our great community that came out to show their support!
Bakersfield Californian photos
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Bakersfield Channel 17 KGET
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Bakersfield Channel 23 KERO
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Bakersfield Channel 29 KABK