During Police Memorial Week each year, numerous wreaths are placed at the graves of Troopers and Officers of the Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement, Water Patrol, and numerous other agencies around the Commonwealth. In Hopkins County, the grave of Trooper Cecil Uzzle is visited by Post 2 Troopers and the public to place a wreath. Also honored at this ceremony is Trooper Joe Ward who gave his life while assigned to Post 2 Madisonville. You can view the wreath ceremony at the end of this article or here: Post 2 Wreath Ceremony
Trooper Cecil W. Uzzle, 29, was fatally injured in a vehicle accident May 28, 1964, while accompanying Trooper Elmer Mobley Jr. in response to a call for assistance in Pike County. Their vehicle struck large rocks that had fallen in the roadway and were hidden by heavy rain and dense fog. Trooper Mobley was also killed. Trooper Uzzle was assigned to Post 9 Pikeville and had served with the Kentucky State Police for two years. Trooper Uzzle was not married. He is buried in a cemetery near Morton’s Gap in Hopkins County, Ky. In honor of his service and sacrifice, KY 1460 in Pike County has been designated the “Trooper Cecil W. Uzzle Memorial Highway”.
Trooper Joseph Ward Jr., age 25, died April 23, 1973, after being struck and killed by a vehicle while working an accident in Hopkins County. Trooper Ward was assigned to Post 2 Madisonville and was a four-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. He is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Grant County, Ky. In honor of his service and sacrifice, US 25 from Dry Ridge Road to KY 491 in Grant County has been designated the “Trooper Joseph Ward Jr. Memorial Highway”.
On May 24, 2011, Debbie Ward accepted the Governor’s Medal of Valor on behalf of her brother-in-law, Trooper Ward. This award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an officer of the agency for heroism in the line of duty under circumstances of extreme personal hazard. It is awarded only by order of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.