Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Deputy Richard Herzog Memorial
June 27, 2002

On Saturday, the gift of Deputy Richard Herzog’s life was tragically taken from us. And our world became a much poorer place.

Our hearts grew still and we grieve.

How can words restore our faith and heal our soul after the senseless and unquiet death of Richard Herzog?

As Elie Wiesel once said, “Words, they die on our lips.”

On television and in the newspaper, we saw a photograph of a uniformed Deputy Herzog posing in front of his squad car.

His strong face revealed another era: The era of the Western lawman. Of course much of that celebrated time was myth.

But the heroism of Deputy Herzog, his willingness to sacrifice his safety and ultimately his life to serve his community and to protect you and me and our children -- that was real. That was so very real.

It’s tough to imagine the risks men and women in law enforcement face every day. They accept those risks when they take their oaths and put on the badge.

But that doesn’t diminish the shock and anger and sense of injustice we all feel at a time like this.

As we remember Rich, we pay tribute to all of those who serve in uniform, who sacrifice and put their lives on the line every single day. We must always thank and appreciate our law enforcement officers.

The circumstances of Rich’s death remind us that there is no such thing as a “routine” traffic stop or a “routine” radio call. There is no guaranteed safety for those who keep us safe.

A photograph isn’t three-dimensional -- it can’t capture the richness and texture of life.

For that one snapshot we saw of Deputy Herzog standing in front of his squad car, there must be hundreds more with his wife SunCha and daughters Sonja and Erika, on birthdays, picnics, vacations and family gatherings.

There must be dozens more with his buddies from the Army. With his colleagues from the Sheriff’s office. With his classmates and family growing up and attending high school.

Because Deputy Richard Herzog was more than a photograph in the newspaper -- he was flesh and blood, he was mortal, and he was one of us.

On behalf of the people of Washington, Mona and I extend our condolences to Deputy Herzog’s family -- to his wife, SunCha, and to his daughters Erika and Sonja.

God Bless you. God Bless the memory of your husband and father. And God Bless the men and women in uniform who serve and protect us each and every day.
Related Links:
- King County Sheriff's Office
- Donations accepted for slain deputy’s family
- Deputy Herzog Memorial Fund

Access Washington