18 Mobile Police officers and many, many others have been killed in the line of duty in Alabama. And all of them, along with law enforcement members are being honored tonight across the country.
In Mobile, a special ceremony held at Public Safety Memorial Park. Retired FBI Special Agent Tim Fuhrman shared a special message about sacrifice, followed by a 21 gun salute and taps.
But today is also a painful reminder for some family members of law enforcement officers who’ve passed away, or were killed in the line of duty. One of those people in our community is Maria Greenwald. She’s the wife of an officer killed at the Mobile County Courthouse nearly 20 years ago.
You might be surprised to know, she works just 5 floors above where it happened at Government Plaza.
That means every day she walks into the place where her husband, Mobile Court Officer Craig Greenwald took his last breath.
He was killed on September 26, 1996. Greenwald was shot after a man who set off a metal detector pulled out a gun and started firing.
To this day, there are marks on the support columns by the elevators where bullets hit. Bullet holes are also still on part of an exterior wall near Government Boulevard. And then there are the indelible marks left on Officer Greenwald’s family.
“It happened right downstairs, so that too, going by that every day, but I purposely do that because A, I don’t want that to hold me back and B, I want to stay in touch with the other court police officers,” said Maria Greenwald.
Through the years, Maria Greenwald has not only stayed strong at work but at home for her two sons.
“My son has a pair of my husband’s army pants, wore them as a teenager. My other son wears my husband’s dog tags. It’s just something to hang on to I think.”
Greenwald carries on her husband’s legacy on through her family. But sometimes the memories are still too raw.
“But for me it’s just 21 gun salute, you know, the bagpipes, all that kind of stuff is wonderful ceremony, but it brings it all back.”
And while she’s reminded every day she goes to work that her husband died in the line of duty. On this day, she hopes others remember the work and sacrifice law enforcement members give every day.
Another officer was also wounded that day back in 1996 but lived. As a result of the shooting, metal detectors were moved back to ensure public and officer safety.