By Laurie Everett, The Mt. Juliet News
Many of those who attended Tuesday's 10th anniversary memorial service to honor two local fallen law enforcement officers said they remember the day they were killed like it was yesterday. A decade ago Tuesday, Mt. Juliet police Sgt. Jerry Mundy and Wilson County Deputy John Musice were killed on Interstate 40 while they tried to lay down spike strips to stop a vehicle pursued by other officers. The driver of the fleeing vehicle, Fallon Tallent, struck and killed the officers.
Local and county officials attended the memorial service at Charlie Daniels Park on Tuesday morning, along with Mundy's widow, Trish, his daughter and two sons, other family members and friends. "This is sad, but it's also comforting," said Trish, "to know this many people cared enough to come out." Trish said Mundy would "be proud and honored," about the ceremony.
"Because you are here today means we won't let this fade away and forget," said former Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe. "We remember two great men who lived, not how they died. We know how they died." Ashe rushed to the scene that day and grieved on the interstate for the two men. Ashe said Musice and Mundy got up that morning 10 years ago to work for us.
Sheriff Robert Bryan looked at Trish who stood near the podium and told her 10 years ago he heard the call about the accident over the scanner. "I think that was the saddest day this county has ever seen," he said. "They woke up, strapped on their guns and never came home."
Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty talked about what "a great man," Mundy was. He said he did not know Musice, but knew he was also a "wonderful person." Hagerty smiled when he talked about "tense" conversations he had with Mundy. "He told me we needed to get them out of the cheap police cars," said Hagery. "He was right, and we did." Hagerty said Mundy was an advocate for all the police officers. "It's really hard knowing what happened to him," said Hagerty. "We need to lift up the families and emulate him. He was about the family being first."
Members of the 100 Club were present to support the family, and members of the Mt. Juliet Police Honor Guard laid two wreaths near the memorial stone placed to honor Mundy.
"It's so important people remember," said Trish. "It was my fear they would not. I can't believe it's been 10 years."
After the ceremony, Trish, family members and some friends went to a private ceremony where Mundy is buried. Several 100 Club members traveled to Lebanon to lay a wreath on Musice's memorial stone.