Names of fallen officers added to memorial in solemn State House ceremony

When it was over, Lora Tedeman had a small smile on her face and some tears in her eyes.

“It’s wonderful that she is continuing to be remembered,’’ Tedeman said.

Tedeman was talking about her mother, Trooper Ellen Engelhardt, whose name was added today to the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial in Ashburton Park adjacent to the State House.

Tedeman was one of dozens of relatives of law enforcement personnel – police officers, troopers, correction officers – participating in the annual event honoring law enforcement personnel who gave their lives in the line of duty in Massachusetts.

Engelhardt was a highly respected pioneer on the State Police in 2003 when her cruiser — which was stopped on the side of Route 25 in Wareham, its blue lights flashing — was slammed into by a car being driven by a speeding drunk driver.

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Engelhardt, a 58-year-old mother, suffered massive head injuries and was moved to a skilled nursing facility, where she lived until 2011. Tedeman said she would often bring her son to visit at the skilled nursing facility, but her mother’s injuries were too severe for grandmother and grandson to get to know one another.

“She’s in a better place now,’’ Tedeman said. “I’m glad she is at peace.’’

During the ceremony in the House chamber, State Representative Harold Naughton, House chairman of the Public Safety Committee, noted that he recently completed serving a year with the US Army in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He said each time he went “outside the wire’’ and worked with Afghan law enforcement officials, he stressed the importance of citizens having faith in the police, and would draw on Massachusetts as the model for them to follow.

“As an example, we always use the structure we have here,’’ he said. “It’s an honor and privilege to be in your company today.’’

House Speaker Robert DeLeo addressed relatives of the slain police officers, like Tedeman, who gathered in the House gallery for the ceremony, which is in its 26th year.

“I am sure that words alone cannot ease your pain,’’ he said. “But I hope this ceremony can make you aware how much that they meant to all of us. ‘’

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Each of the 336 names on the memorial were read aloud at the ceremony, with Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis handling the task for his department, which has lost more officers than any other in the state.

The names of three more Boston officers were added today: Michael Brennan, who died in 1918, Hugh J. Lee, who was killed in 1919, and John Condon, who died in 1927.

State Police Colonel Timothy Alben announced the names of Department of Correction employees, as well as troopers, who had died, including Engelhardt.

As Alben read the names, troopers in uniform and plainclothes stood at attention.

After the ceremony, Tedeman said that she has viewed her mother’s name on the memorial and was in Washington D.C. earlier this year when her mother’s name was added to the national law enforcement memorial.

“It was a very beautiful ceremony for my mother and all of the others’’ who had died, she said.

Also added to the memorial this year were the names of John J. O’Connor, a Nahant police officer who died in 1961; Metropolitan Police Officer Robert D. Stewart, who died in 1913; and two members of the Fall River police force who died in the 19th Century: Gideon Manchester (1852) and Louis T. Cormley (1898.)