Under gray skies and with Higby Mountain as a backdrop, hundreds of family members, fellow troopers and dignitaries marked Middletown's Interstate 91 and rest area and scale house dedication to Connecticut State Police Trooper First Class Kenneth Hall, who died in the line of duty two years ago in Enfield.
"I know this is a difficult moment as it reminds us of his passing, but it also reminds us of his great work and his life," Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.
To the troopers and commissioners, Malloy said, "Thank you for your contribution to our state that you give, day in and day out. It's on days like this that we're reminded of how dangerous the work that you do is."
Hall, 57, of Hartford, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Vietnam and 22-year state trooper, was killed Sept. 2, 2010, while writing a summons for a driver he pulled over on I-91 and his cruiser was hit by a speeding motorist.
At Friday's ceremony, Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, state Sens. Paul R. Doyle, D-9th, and John A. Kissel, R-7th, CSP Col. Daniel Stebbins and many others joined Hall's widow Sheila, their five sons, grandchildren, and other family members to celebrate the life and career of the fallen trooper and unveil the weigh station plaque.
"This was an honorable man who loved his work and loved his family," Malloy said. "This is simply a plaque but it represents all of the memories of all of the great work and life that he lived."
The driver who caused the crash, Michael Pajak, then 32, of Enfield, tested positive for cocaine and other drugs. He was convicted of manslaughter in September 2011 and sentenced to 11 years in prison, according to the Officer Down web page.
According to Hall's obituary, he was an adjunct instructor at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy and worked specialized details including the Presidential and other protection assignments.
After 13 years in the Marines as a sniper, Hall attended the State Police Academy, graduated Sept. 2, 1988, and began his career at Troop L in Litchfield, his obit detailed. In 1990, he was transferred to Troop D, and then in 1992, he was transferred to Troop E where he served in patrol operations. In 1993, he was promoted to Trooper First Class and served in Central District Traffic and Traffic Services Unit, according to Legacy.com.