The entrance road to the new Bryan County Sheriff’s Department Complex was renamed Sergeant Michael W. Larson Drive on Monday, Dec. 10, in a ceremony that took place exactly one year after Larson was killed while on duty.
Family, friends, co-workers and city and county officials were present to commemorate his honor.
"We’re here to dedicate this street for the new Sheriff’s Complex and 911 Call Center in honor and memory of Sergeant Michael Larson, who died in the line of duty exactly one year ago today," County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said. "To all those in Bryan County who wear a uniform – fire fighters, police, EMS, every one of them – every time they put on their uniform, they are in harms way."
Larson’s widow Lisa unveiled the new street sign in her husband’s name.
"I’m at a loss for words," she said. "I’m very honored and he would have been very proud."
Larson’s mother, Joanne Morris, and her family drove to Bryan County from Naples, Fla., to be at the unveiling. While emotions ran high for the family, everyone agreed Larson would be "tickled to death" of the dedication in his name, as Lisa Larson put it.
"He would have said, ‘Of course!’" Morris said.
Later that evening, a candlelight vigil was held at the new station, in remembrance of Larson’s passing. The vigil drew around three dozen folks. Probate Judge Sam Davis, who was a good friend of Larson’s, gave a heartfelt speech about the late Sergeant.
County Sheriff Clyde Smith welcomed everyone before lighting a candle. He used his candle to light the candle held by Lisa Larson, who lit Morris’ candle and then down the line of family, law enforcement officers and local residents who all came out to honor Larson’s memory.
Silhouetted by a table that was set up with pictures chronicling Larson throughout his life, attendees held their candles while listening to two songs and a few words from First Baptist Pastor Keith Joseph about Larson and how he will always be remembered.