Community comes together to honor Thor, mourn his loss

Published 1:08 pm Monday, September 16, 2019

It was a solemn occasion Monday as members of the community gathered at American Legion Post 3 to pay their respect to fallen Vicksburg Police K-9 officer Thor.

More than 50 people, including those from the Vicksburg Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, attended the memorial service, remembering the officer who died Sept. 4.

One police officer even saluted a picture of Thor that had been placed on a table alongside an American flag and a guest book.

The service began with a 21-bell tribute followed by an introduction and prayer from the Rev. Randy Burns, who quoted John 15:13, saying, “Greater love has no man who lays down his life for his friends,” Certainly, Thor served his friends well.

The pure-bred German Shepherd served with the Vicksburg Police department since 2012 with Police Officer Donnie Heggins serving as his handler.

Thor was trained in narcotics, apprehension and tracking, and according to a Vicksburg Police Department, was credited with more than 60 felony arrests, apprehensions and drug arrests.

During the service, Rev. Tommy Curtis based his message on Matthew 5:9, which states “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Oddly enough, Donnie, and his wife Beth had placed that verse on the front of the program for the memorial service, which Curtis had not seen prior to delivering his message.

“It had to be a God thing,” Beth said. “Tommy had not seen the program and then that is what he talked about. It gave both Donnie and I chills.”

Both Donnie and Beth said the turn out for the service was moving.

“We were both very pleased and heartfelt at all the people who came out for the memorial service, even strangers,” Beth said. “It was pretty amazing to see all the support from the community, and the ceremony was perfect.”

Beth said she and her husband were grateful to the American Legion Post 3 for use of the building for the memorial service.

“They donated the building to honor Thor, and we were grateful for this,” she said. “It’s been a tough one,” Beth said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart