Horry County police remembered the first officer from the department who was shot to death in the line of duty. They held a memorial service for Corporal Dennis Lyden at Hillcrest Cemetery Tuesday afternoon.
On June 5th, 2000, Lyden stopped a car on Highway 544 and was shot by the driver.
At the memorial, flowers were placed and taps was played graveside. A prayer was also said and Interim Police Chief Saundra Rhodes spoke. She remembered being Lyden's sergeant.
Lyden was the first Horry County police officer ever killed in the line of duty.
"June 5th created a lot of changes for many of us. It brought to light the reality of the danger that we had chosen," Rhodes said.
Maryann Lyden-Hallisey, Lyden's widow, described him as an fun loving guy and a practical joker, who even dressed up as Santa for Christmas activities the department did in the community.
"Before that, he was kind of a bah-humbug, and he would always give me a hard time when I would pull out the Christmas decorations, but you knew deep down he really loved it," Lyden-Hallisey said.
Lyden's convicted killer is sitting on death row and has lost one appeal.
Lyden-Hallisey hopes everyone can take a lesson from her husband's sacrifice.
"Every time they pull over a car they walk up to a door and knock on it, they don't know what's on the other side. Every time they say goodbye, and they love their family, they wish you goodnight or good morning, because they work those around the clock shifts, they don't know they're not coming back," Lyden-Hallisey said.