Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Salem Lost One Of It's Finest In 1908

I spent three years working with CCFHV (Columbiana County Families Of Homicide Victims)and learned one very valuable lesson from that.  Your average Policeman is courageous, fierce, caring, unappreciated, and scorned.  Yet they are the first ones you call when you are in trouble.  Their job is thankless and even though they risk their lives for you every day, no one seems to care.  In Hope Cemetery there lies a police officer Charles Miller.   He had just been married two weeks before and this was his first night back from his honeymoon.  He was a protector who was ready to give his life like so many policemen are to this day. 
It was 4:30 am on April 8, 1908 and a man was on the run through the city of Salem, wanted for several burglaries that very evening.  Spotted at the Pennsylvania Depot by a conductor, Officer Miller arrived first to find the suspect already on the train.  Miller went after him, brandishing a billy club.   He emerged from the train a few minutes later, bad guy in hand.  Stepping onto the station platform, the burglar twisted around and pulled a gun from his own  pocket.    He laid the barrel of the gun right on Miller's Chest and fired twice.  Despite his mortal wounds, Miller raised his billy club to try to stop the now killer, but his wounds were too bad and he fell to the ground.  By the time help arrived, Officer Charles Miller was dead.  
His death was a true tragedy for the city of Salem.  The murderer of this courageous man  was never captured.  Charles made the ultimate sacrifice for the city of Salem.  His memory eventually faded away, becoming just another stone in Hope Cemetery.  But we do remember Officer Charles Miller.  We do remember.