Remembering true heroes

Published 5:00 pm Friday, August 16, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – Family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers congregated at New Wine Christian Fellowship on Friday morning to celebrate the lives of Deputies Jeremy Triche and Brandon Nielsen, who were tragically slain a year ago after being ambushed at a LaPlace trailer park.
Louisiana State Police officers came to the event in a display of solidarity. Officials from St. Charles Sheriff’s Office also attended the remembrance ceremony, despite the recent loss of one of their own officers.
Nielsen was described as a “cop’s cop” and a “real stand-up guy,” by other officers, according to his mother, Wendy Nielsen. But Nielsen may have been better known for his sense of humor and frequent practical jokes.
Wendy Nielson said she would never forget her son’s his last two Facebook posts. Wendy said he had changed his background photo to a graphic of the “thin blue line” with a caption of a verse from the Bible. In light of the shooting, she said the post made her think he may have had a premonition of what would occur. It gives her hope that justice may be served soon.
“On Aug. 13, Brandon posted his last message, referring to the Texas A&M shooting. Ironically, this was also the subject of our very last phone call, when he assured me he was safe, and I was not to worry because he was well-trained. His last posting reads, ‘The shooting makes a total of 64 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty this year. My thoughts and prayers to the victim’s family.’ His cousin Tom responded on Aug. 16, 2012, at 8:58 a.m., ‘It’s the 65th one that makes me the saddest. I love you,’” she said.
The Nielsen family also announced the creation of the Brandon J. Nielsen Memorial Foundation. The family is currently planning their first event, the “Making it Do What it Do” Motorcycle Ride on Sept. 14, 2014, what would be Brandon’s 37th birthday.
Edie Triche said Deputy Jeremy Triche was a proud father and hoped to be an influence to at least one child in his life time. He had helped his cousin with her valedictorian speech a few months before his death. In her completed speech, she spoke about a poem called “The Dash,” which states that the dates of birth and death don’t matter, only the memories that the dash represents.
Edie Triche held back tears as she said: “It is extremely painful, knowing as parents that we are supposed to protect our children, yet there was nothing we could do. That morning, Jeremy protected us and this whole community.”
The ceremony was concluded by a release of black and blue balloons. The families were encouraged to kiss and speak into the ballons they held, so that each one would have a personal touch and a special message to be carries to the heavens for their loved ones.