By Angela Greenwood

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – High honors for a fallen sheriff’s deputy.  Monday, the U.S. Honor Flag made it’s way to Sacramento, as family and friends prepare to say goodbye to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French.  Deputy French was shot and killed while on duty last week.

Since 2001, the Honor Flag has traveled across the country, honoring the lives of fallen first responders and military officers.  For the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, it’s a huge honor during a time of huge loss.

It’s carried with care, everywhere it goes.

President & Founder of U.S. Honor Flag Chris Heisler said, “The reverence of how this flag is treated and handled is consistent everywhere we go all over the nation.”

Monday morning, a motorcade brought the honor flag to East Lawn cemetery to honor Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French, who was killed in the line of duty on August 30th.  His brothers and sisters stood by in salute.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Rod Grassmann said, “Everybody in this department knows Deputy French. He was quite a presence. When he came into a room, you knew he was there.”

The Honor Flag was born following the September 11th attacks and has since traveled more than seven million miles, honoring more than a thousand police officers and firefighters around the nation.  It’s been to California many times.

“Besides Texas and Florida, it comes to California more than any other state,” said Heisler.

Heisler calls it a national treasure offering hope in times of tragedy.

“The reward is bringing some type of healing to the families that are here.”

The trip is one that happens far too often, Heisler said.

“It really sickens me on the number of police officers that are taken away from us, and it’s not just police officers.  I’m burying firefighters and paramedics that are getting shot.”

For the law enforcement community, the Honor Flag reminds of the sacrifice made everyday.  In this case, a 21 year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department making the ultimate sacrifice.

The flag will stay with Deputy Drench until he is laid to rest.

Dep. Rod Grassmann said, “This is an incredible honor.”

The Honor Flag will be displayed during the viewing for Deputy French on Wednesday at East Lawn cemetery from 9a.m. to 8p.m.  It will also be displayed during his memorial service on Thursday at the Adventure Bayside Church in Roseville.


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