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Memorial unveiled for fallen officer Sgt. Cory Wride

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Posted at 9:27 PM, Jun 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-24 23:27:58-04

AMERICAN FORK, Utah -- A memorial in honor of a fallen officer was unveiled Tuesday night in American Fork.

The plaque is dedicated to Sgt. Cory Wride, who was shot and killed in January while checking on what he believed was an abandoned vehicle. Instead he was met with gunfire.

The unveiling was especially emotional for Sgt. Wride's family, including his widow Nannette. She saw the plaque on Memorial Day, but seeing the finished dedication at Robinson Park was a reminder of her loss, a loss she hopes everyone can learn from.

"It is so touching," Nannette Wride said of the plaque at Robinson Park.

Tiny footsteps lead up to the memorial.

"Just the idea of the little footsteps there, you know children are going to walk up and look," she said.

Children will be looking at a young boy who became a hero.

"It just touches my heart. Every time I read it I cry because it talks about honoring the man and forgiving the foe and that is just who he was, and is. It is how he lived his life and like I said from the beginning our family doesn't feel any malice towards the person who took his life," Nannette Wride said.

The person who shot and killed the 19-year veteran officer is dead but his alleged accomplice, Megan Grunwald is behind bars, charged with his murder.

Nannette Wride said her husband was a humble man, who often shied away from the spotlight. Still, he would have been touched by the tribute.

"I know in his heart he just would have welled up and would have been so touched that his life meant something and has touched so many lives," she said.

American Fork is where the Utah County Sheriff's sergeant grew up and it's the place his legacy will now live on.

"I was emotional because of my service with his father in the Utah National Guard," said American Fork City Mayor James Hadfield. "It's here a place they can find solace where they can sit on a bench beside the monument and receive some solace form his loss."

Nannette Wride who tearfully looked at the plaque etched with her late husband's face said she wants her loss to someday become someone's hope.

"He's a hero but he started off as a little kid, that's something a little kid can attain. They can be heroes too in their own lives and I think it just gives a lot of hope," she said.

The idea of the tiny footsteps leading up to the memorial came from when a child walked up to the plaque when it was first unveiled during Memorial Day and put his hand on it.

Nannette Wride believes a bulletproof windshield would have saved her husband's life. She's setting up a charity that will someday help fund bulletproof windshields for police departments across Utah.

She said three police departments have already pledged to change their police cruisers.