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Upcoming Border Patrol ceremony to honor fallen agents

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A ceremony to honor the lives of U.S. Border Patrol agents who had died in the line of duty will be held Thursday, July 26.

The 8th annual Border Patrol Foundation Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Artesia High School Auditorium, Paul Clayton, supervisory patrol agent at the United States Border Patrol Academy said.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Border Patrol Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to the families of fallen or injured Border Patrol employees and their families, holds the ceremony every year at different locations throughout the country.

“They basically help out these families wherever there is a need,” Clayton said.

The Foundation’s website says as of July 3, $750,066 in financial assistance has been provided to border patrol agents and their families. An additional $315,000 in student scholarships have also been awarded by the Foundation.

Four agents will be added to the list of 124 agents who have died in the line of duty since the U.S. Border Patrol was established in 1924, Clayton said.

The events page on the Foundation website says the ceremony will include a wreath laying ceremony, rose presentations by surviving family members of agents. A lunch sponsored by the Holly Frontier Corporation will be held after the ceremony.

This year will be the first time the ceremony has been hosted by the Academy and in Artesia, Clayton said.

The Foundation has helped cover the expenses of families of fallen border patrol agents to come to the Academy each year to meet the new graduates, Academy Supervisor Ethan Gibson said. He added for the Foundation to choose Artesia for the ceremony is an honor.

“For them to pick Artesia is pretty special for the town and the Academy as well,” Gibson said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.