Nation salutes fallen officer from Maine

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WASHINGTON (WABI) - The country salutes a Maine law enforcement officer gunned down in the line of duty. Those who knew the Somerset County Sheriff's Office corporal best find comfort knowing his memory won't be forgotten.

Cpl. Eugene Cole is honored in the nation's capital (Source: Gray DC)

The legacy of slain Cpl. Eugene Cole is now etched into the stone of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Tom Cole said the services here in D.C. this week are a fitting tribute to his big brother.

"The wall was very emotional," Tom Cole said, "reality sets in every day, and there hasn't been one day that's gone by that I don't think of him... I just miss him so much."

Cpl. Cole lost his life just more than a year ago - allegedly shot by a drug suspect who is still awaiting trial.

Cole's name is one of 92 from Maine on the walls of the memorial to fallen peace officers - lives cut short by health problems, crashes, and violent attacks dating back to 1808.

"It really gives you cause to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice that these men and women have given to their country to their states, to their communities," said Cole's old boss, Sheriff Dale Lancaster.

Lancaster said the outpouring of support locally and nationally is humbling. Coming together with departments across the country -- grieving their own tragedies -- reminds them all of just how important the job is. "It gives people something to believe in, we are doing the right thing, and doing a good thing," Lancaster said.

We asked Corporal Cole's family what he would think of all this. "He would be very happy that his family's been taken care of, that his family's been honored through it," said Tom Cole, "and, I know he would be a big part of doing this for someone else."

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