MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. -- Law enforcement officers serve as the barrier between chaos and order; they leave home some days without knowing whether they'll return. The late Morgan County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Biles was brave like that.
"That was his life," James Biles, Biles' cousin, said.
Biles isn't here to show us his bravery, but his family is, and they can tell his story.
"He was my favorite cousin," Biles said of Bill. "He was a World War II veteran and was wounded in the war. He was a man that had courage and plenty of stamina for the job down to the last minutes of his life."
Biles died in 1985 while checking on a suspicious vehicle near Brewer High School before someone shot him to death. State leaders like Attorney General Steve Marshall admire Biles' bravery.
"They are willing to sacrifice their lives for total strangers, and that's a commitment that I don't necessarily know that I can appreciate," Marshall said. "But, I am greatly thankful that they're willing to do that."
Honoring people like Biles is why law enforcement officers, supporters and community leaders came together Tuesday morning. They packed the north side of the Morgan County Courthouse for a Memorial Day service.
"I think it's a moment to pause and to reflect on the sacrifice that's made, but also to understand that the men and women who wear a badge are called," Marshall said. "I mean this is not something that anybody can do."
But it's a job that needs done, and it's a path brave men and women, walk.
"He knew what the job entailed and he certainly carried out his duties," Biles said of his cousin.