Annual Wilmington police memorial ceremony set for 1 p.m. Wednesday

News Journal

WILMINGTON — In observance of National Peace Memorial Day on May 15 and National Police Week from May 12-18, Wilmington Police will be placing wreaths at the graves of the two Wilmington police officers who were killed in the line of duty, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at Sugar Grove Cemetery, where both officers are buried.

Interim Wilmington Police Chief Ron Cravens and former Wilmington Police Sergeant Frank Copeland will be placing the wreaths.

The first wreath will be placed at the grave of Ptl. Emery McCreight at 1 p.m. Ptl. McCreight’s grave is located directly east of the bridge between the original section and the new section of Sugar Grove Cemetery.

Ptl. McCreight was shot shortly before midnight Feb. 14, 1922, when he and his partner, Ptl. Henry “Hank” Adams, interrupted a burglary attempt of a hardware store. Despite attempts to save his life by several local doctors, including Dr. Kelly Hale, a surgeon, Ptl. McCreight died the following day.

A wreath will then be placed at the grave of Marshal John T. Van Doren, who was fatally shot the evening of March 8, 1884, while attempting to calm an intoxicated man causing a disturbance. A struggle ensued, during which Marshal Van Doren was knocked to the ground. As the marshal attempted to stand, the intoxicated man fatally shot him in the head with a revolver.

Marshal Van Doren’s grave is also located in the original section of Sugar Grove Cemetery.

All are welcome to attend the ceremony.

News Journal