Governor awards fallen Chattanooga Police officer for selfless sacrifice

Governor awards Fallen Chattanooga Officer for selfless sacrifice (Photo: WTVC)

411 first responders lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attack 18 years ago. As people reflect on their sacrifice, Governor Bill Lee honors some of our own first responders in Tennessee.

On Wednesday, Governor Lee gave five first responders the Three Stars of Tennessee Award for their selfless sacrifice. It’s an award given out once a year on or near September 11.

One of the five, is Chattanooga Officer Nicholas Galinger. He was killed in a hit and run while inspecting a flooded manhole February 23.

He leaves behind his parents, Barry and Gretchen Galinger, two children and countless friends and family members. Their healing, is far from over.

“I finally deleted his cell number off my phone the other day. I didn’t want to delete that phone number, but I had to do it to move on,” said Barry Galinger.

Barry accepted the award on Officer Galinger’s behalf. He fought back tears as he hugged Governor Lee, his wife and several other state leaders.

“They had tears in their eyes too and that meant a lot to me. They weren’t there because someone just told them they had to be, they really cared,” said Barry Galinger.

The crowd cringed as they learned Officer Galinger was killed in the line of duty just one month after joining the Chattanooga Police Department.

“Every time I hear it I gasp so I guess I was a part of that crowd too,” said Barry Galinger.

The trial to determine who’s at fault for Officer Galinger’s death is still going on. The woman accused of hitting and killing him is due in court in October. She’s facing nine charges including vehicular homicide by intoxication and DUI.

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