Philadelphia

Delaware Officer Who Died in Line of Duty in 1922 Gets Memorial

The Delaware State Police held a ceremony in Wilmington on Tuesday to dedicate a memorial sign honoring Officer Francis Ryan, who died at the age of 31 in 1922.

Delaware is honoring an officer who died in the line of duty nearly a century ago.

The Delaware State Police held a ceremony in Wilmington on Tuesday to dedicate a memorial sign honoring Officer Francis Ryan, who died at the age of 31 in 1922.

Ryan joined the Delaware State Highway Police at the age of 31 and just a few months later, his motorcycle was struck by a car while he was trying to apprehend a speeding driver on the Philadelphia Pike.

Ryan's relatives, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn and Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr. were among those who attended the ceremony at Philadelphia Pike in Wilmington.

Lori Dougherty, a grandniece of Ryan, spoke at the memorial.

“While I was growing up my mother often told me the story of our paternal grandmother’s brother, Francis Ryan," she said. "How he was a policeman and was the first to ride a motorcycle on the job… As a family, we will be forever grateful to Officer Lewis and all of the other officers and state officials who have taken part in making sure Officer Francis Ryan sacrifice has not been forgotten.”

McQueen said Delaware State Police has held eight ceremonies honoring fallen troopers through the Line of Duty Death Memorial Sign Program since 2012.

"These ceremonies have been about more than the dedication of memorial signs," he said. "These ceremonies have allowed us all to reflect upon the history of our heroes and our survivors.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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