By JERRY MEISENHEIMER
LAKE PLACID — On Wednesday, Sept. 25, members of the Lake Placid Garden Club dedicated a memorial stone honoring fallen Highlands County Deputy William J. Gentry Jr.
The event took place at the flagpole that stands in the median at the intersection of Main Avenue and Interlake Boulevard in downtown Lake Placid.
Garden Club official Marcia Price spearheaded the effort to remember Deputy Gentry, who was shot in the line-of-duty the night of May 6, 2018, in Placid Lakes, near Lake Placid. He died the following day.
Members of the organization thought it would be fitting to place a stone memorial next to a plaque that was already under the flagpole. That one was placed there by Marsha Browning of the Garden Club to honor all fallen law enforcement officers.
A crowd of over 20 people took the time to attend the event. Those present were Sheriff Paul Blackman, Lake Placid Police Department Officer Don Lamarre, Lake Placid Major John Holbrook, City Manager Phil Williams, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eileen May and LP Garden Club Co-Presidents Sherry Bowie and Paula Fabik. Well-known singer, Marti Capodferro, flawlessly sang the National Anthem and later “Amazing Grace.” The ceremony also included the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.
Sheriff Blackman was called upon to give the invocation. He also thanked everyone for their participation and for remembering Deputy Gentry.
Price remarked how deeply our community cares for our first responders.
The memorial was etched, “Honored, Loved, Remembered ALWAYS,” with Deputy Gentry’s name under the words.
The stone was surrounded by flowers and fresh mulch. A small American flag was placed behind it.