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      Highway Patrol dedicates fallen trooper monument

      BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- The South Carolina Department of Public Safety has dedicated a memorial at its headquarters to the 50 highway patrolmen who have died in the line of duty.

      The ceremony Friday unveiled the black granite marker in front of dozens of family members of the fallen troopers. Pictures were displayed nearby.

      South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director said it is a great way to remember each trooper.

      "Some of them gave their lives during a traffic stop. Some lost their lives by a cold blooded act. All of them deserve this fitting tribute. The dedication of this monument captures the very essence of that teamwork in action."

      Nancy Brandt; whose grandfather Ralph McCracken was the first Patrolman to die in 1931, says his legacy lives on through the monument.

      "It is something that he must be extremely proud of. And to find out after all these years and have him put on this memorial is just amazing. He would be so proud to be included."

      Director Smith also thanked the families.

      "It not only takes a special person to devote themselves to this line of work, but it takes a special family back home to believe in them. When you are strong for them, they are strong for those they protect and serve."

      Brandt said meeting other loved ones of fallen troopers helps the healing process.

      "They really are a close knit family and they all draw us in. Creating this place for all of us to come and remember our loved ones is a wonderful thing to do."

      Since the Highway Patrol was organized in 1930, nearly one in five officers killed in the line of duty in South Carolina has been a state trooper.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.