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United States Secret Service Observes 61st Anniversary of a Fallen Hero

Officer Coffelt Memorial Ceremony

11/1/2011 - WASHINGTON -- In a somber pre-dawn ceremony at The Blair House today, the U.S. Secret Service honored a fallen hero, who sacrificed his life 61 years ago, while protecting the President of the United States

On Nov 1, 1950, Officer Leslie W. Coffelt made the ultimate sacrifice, when two Puerto Rican Nationalists attacked the Blair House in an assassination attempt on President Harry S. Truman.

“We reserve our deepest respect and admiration for those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” said Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Kevin Simpson, to an audience of more than 250 law enforcement members, including Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan and Assistant Director of Protective Operations Mickey Nelson. “On this anniversary, we pay tribute to a colleague and a hero. “

On that fateful day, after an exchange of gunfire, Officer Coffelt, who lay mortally wounded, drew his revolver and killed one of the terrorists. Officer Coffelt died a few hours later at a hospital.

Officer Coffelt is buried in Arlington National Cemetery and his sacrifice is forever inscribed at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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