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New York State Police Troop C holds memorial service to honor fallen Troopers

SIDNEY, N.Y. - New York State Police Troop C held its annual memorial service Thursday to honor the 17 members who died in the line of duty over the Troop's history.

The ceremony took place outside Troop C headquarters in Sidney.

There was the traditional reading of the 17 names, the playing of taps and a performance by members the Edward P Maloney and State Police pipe bands.

And members of the Buckley family conducted the ceremonial wreath laying.

Joining the commemoration this year was a traveling memorial wall honoring all of the fallen officers in State Police history.

It was created by Ken Knapp in honor of his late grandfather and namesake, Kenneth Knapp, who made the ultimate sacrifice in 1945.

"You can't ever forget. I think that's the big thing. People shouldn't forget everyone who is on that wall, every family. Making sure they're never forgotten," said Knapp.

Knapp created the wall five years ago and traveled with it across the state last year in honor of the State Police's centennial celebration.

One featured guest among the crowd was 92 year-old Charles Kneller of Vestal.

After distinguishing himself for bravery and valor in World War II, Kneller went on to a 20 year career as a Trooper, much of it on a State Police motorcycle.

Kneller also participated in the State Police's legendary raid on an alleged mafia gathering in Apalachin in 1957.

He says he was driving the accused mobsters to the station when one made him a job offer he was able to refuse.

"He wanted me to drive a hearse for the mafia. I said no thank you. I don't like New York City," said Kneller.

Following the service, Troopers and their guest enjoyed a chicken barbecue in a tent behind the headquarters.

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