From Erika Butler
Gov. Larry Hogan paused in front of DFC Logsdon’s monuments and casket and laid his hand on it before going to the podium. The family did everything possible so that his last farewell was one to remember. They even did headstone engraving with a beautiful quote, which is part of the funeral pre-arrangement plans of their chosen funeral home.
“We are here to honor the sacrifice and celebrate the incredible life on one of our true heroes, DFC Mark Logsdon,” Hogan said.
He quoted the bible, John, Chapter 15, verse 13: “Greater love hath no meaning than this, than a man who laid down his life for his friends.”
“No governor ever wants to give remarks like this,” he said.
“I stand here knowing no words can ease the hurt or help us understand such overwhelming heartbreak,” Hogan said. “I do know what we can do: ensure the legacy of Mark Logsdon and the memories of his tremendous sacrifice lives on in the hearts of each and very one of us.”
He will live on through the legacy of loving son, father, brother and friend, of a proud soldier who dedicated 12 years of service to the U.S. Army and as a deputy who spent last 16 years serving the sheriff’s office.
“Our entire state grieves the loss of one of its heroes today, while remaining ever grateful for a life well-lived,” Hogan said. “He will never be forgotten.”
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman
“I woke up this morning hoping today would be a little easier or less painful as I give thanks for remembering the price Mark paid for Harford County. But I can tell you that it is not,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said.
Every Harford Countian will have an image or remember where they were Feb. 10, Glassman said.
For him, it was the long walk down a hallway at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, to see DFC Logsdon and his family, his colleagues.
“I saw a large group of Harford County sheriff’s deputies, watching, the family weeping at his bedside,” Glassman said.
At first sight and even at rest, DFC Logsdon was a “mountain of a man” in physical stature.
“We learned this week he is one with even a bigger heart and spirit,” Glassman said.
“I am in awe of those men and women in blue who set aside very human instinct … and run toward unspeakable danger,” he said. “Mark did that not only for his fellow deputies, but for all of us and on behalf of Harford County, we are thankful for man with extraordinary courage.”
Before Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler walked up to the stage to speak, he paused and saluted Deputy First Class Logsdon and laid his hand on the casket.
Choking back tears, he thanked the family of Deputy First Class Logsdon.
“Thank you for allowing Mark to be part of our lives. On holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, other countless times he was away from you,” Gahler said.
“It’s never easy to stay goodbye. With heavy hearts, Mark lives on a hero. Mark is truly a hero in big and small,” Gahler said. “He protected our lives, our homes, our community, our property. He was a loyal and treasured friend to those who know him.”
Police work not a career with best of schedules. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, Gahler said. Deputies are taken away from their families for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other special events.
“More importantly, police work is more what happens every single day, in community after community, police work is a life full of unbelievable reward,” Gahler said. “We live in a better world because of so many people like you. We live in a better world because Mark.”
To his deputies, he said he is proud.
“I am proud of each and every one of you. You share in the family’s loss, as this office is a family, with 600 broken hearts,” he said. “But we have not, for a moment, failed to meet the needs of our community. We have filled the responsibility of our office while leaning on each other for support and encouragement, which remains unwavering.”
Since DFC Logsdon and Senior Deputy Dailey were killed, Gahler said he has heard so many what ifs.
“What if he didn’t answer the call, what if I could have been there first, what if I could have gotten there faster?” Gahler said. “The discussion of what ifs is part of the way we process loss, but no what ifs would have made a difference that day and no what ifs that will bring him back.”
Instead, he posed a question.
“What if we didn’t have a community as we have here in Harford County, people who provide our deputies and Mark’s family with overwhelming support and love?”
“What if we didn’t have the Harford County Sheriff’s Office family, a courageous family of men and women who have held each other close and supported one another while never failing to protect the community?”
“What if we didn’t have heroes like DFC Mark Logsdon, a deputy willing to put his life on the line?”
“Mark knew the risks of being a police officer,” Gahler said, pointing out DFC Logsdon as an honor guard member. “He person saw so many more times the sorrow that descends on the community and agency in a time of loss.”
Gahler posed another questions, one from Pete Carroll, head coach of DFC Logsdon’s favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks: “If we really took care of guys, really took care of each individual, what would happen?’
“So I say, take care of each other, each and every one. Good bless ach law enforcement officer, God bless Mark and Pat and their families. God bless each and every one of you,” Gahler said.
Close friend DFC John “Marty” Hoppa remembered the lighter side of DFC Logsdon. Most of his stories began with “one time when we were out having some beers” that “probably aren’t appropriate for here,” he said.
DFC Logsdon, who seldom called his friends by their first names, had several nicknames himself, like “Log,”“Logdog,” and “Lunchbox,” because at lunchtime he would take the leftovers from everyone else’s lunch, Hoppa said.
“We were the kind of friends who even if we hadn’t seen for a while, we would pick up where we left off,” he said.
They graduated the sheriff’s academy together and after 9/11 DFC Logsdon, an active Army reservist, was deployed to the Pentagon, then Guantanamo Bay then Iraq.
They would email often and in one of those SFC Logsdon, who said he was having problems at home, asked if he could stay with Hoppa when he came home.
He said sure, and DFC Logsdon said “Good, I’m at BWI.”
DFC Logsdon stayed in Hoppa’s basement for a while and was there when Hoppa’s daughter was born, earning him another nickname, Uncle Mark.
“I was with him the night met Jennifer and I could see how happy became. A short time later, we got the basement back,” Hoppa said.
He recalled going to the hospital one day DFC Logsdon was in a car accident involved a sheriff’s office vehicle. It was the same day he was put on the agency’s list to be a driving instructor.
“I asked him at the hospital, ‘So, you’re the new driving instructor?’” Hoppa said. “And Mark replied, ‘I was just trying to show what not do to.”
A diehard Ravens fan, Hoppa swore he would never support DFC Logsdon’s favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. But he did Saturday, donning a cap.
“I will wear this in honor of Mark and represent the 12th man,” Hoppa said.
“He was more than co-worker, he was family who died a hero. Try to live life a little more like Mark did – try not to take everything so serious, smile more and have a good time with family and friends,” Hoppa said.
Photo courtesy of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office