- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of the General Assembly, Constitutional Officers, and my fellow South Carolinians:

Let us start tonight, as we have rightfully done in the past, by honoring those heroes we lost over the last year. It is my sincere prayer that a year will come that there are no names for us to read.

So now, please join me as we pay tribute to those who gave the last full measure of devotion in the service of their state and country:

- Specialist Ember M. Alt, Beech Island

- Deputy Sheriff Joseph C. Antwine, Lake City

- Private First Class Barrett L. Austin, Easley

- Volunteer Firefighter Michael L. Broz, Ridgeville

- Deputy First Class Timothy E. Causey, Nichols

- Deputy Sheriff Robert L. Evans, Lugoff

- Assistant Chief Rodney C. Hardee, Loris

- First Sergeant Inez “Renee” Odom-Baker, U.S. Army-Retired, Cayce

- Chief Warrant Officer Curtis “Skinny” Reagan, Summerville

On behalf of all South Carolinians, to their families, know we will never forget.

I am blessed to have the support of an amazing family. Both sets of parents, my brothers, and my sister. But more than anything, I am the proud mom of two amazing kids who keep me grounded.

To them I am “Just Mom” and nothing makes me happier. Please help me welcome Nalin who is now 12 and my star basketball player and Rena who is now 15 and my happy cheerleader!

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