On Friday, 11 September 2015 members of Wake and District had the great honor to joyfully fill the air with the sounds of the bagpipes and drums for the 137th Basic North Carolina State Highway Patrol School graduation. During this ceremony Colonel Grey recognized the families who supported and sacrificed along with the cadets for 15 weeks. Grey told the cadets to keep those family members close, “always remember the toughest part is not being a state trooper —– the toughest part is waiting on you to come home safely."
On Friday, 27 March 2020 one of these graduates did not make it home safely; Trooper Nolan J. Sanders passed away while in the line of duty in Wayne County.
Once again, the sounds of the bagpipes and drums mournfully filled the air -- this time as Colonel McNeil presented a flag to the family of Trooper Sanders at Wayne Memorial Park in Mount Olive.
Every day, public safety professionals go where others fear to go, put the safety of the community before their own, and serve with dedication, compassion, purpose and integrity. It is a life of service to others you've never met, of days that start as quiet and routine and without warning turn chaotic and violent. A life in which you're never sure if the end of your shift will find you in your car going home or in an ambulance speeding to the emergency room. Nothing can be taken for granted.
For the family and friends left behind, we know there are no words to ease your sorrow or change the reality of what has been taken from you.
We promise in our hearts, we will always remember and be grateful for your husband, your father, your brother, your uncle, your son. We will make sure his name and memory live on in the hearts, minds, and souls of our citizens for generations to come.
This is our duty and our commitment to you.
For our fallen.