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Behind The Badge: A mother’s grief ‘doesn’t go away’

Behind the Badge

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It had to be a very difficult Mother’s Day for Nancy Lyday. It was her first without her son, Nathan, and came just three days after his name was added to the wall at the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial.

Rifle shots, doves, and bagpipe music filled the air at the Utah State Capitol May 6 as Officer Nathan Lyday’s widow Ashley placed the plaque honoring her late husband. Officer Lyday was fatally wounded while responding to a domestic violence incident on May 28th, 2020, one year to the day after he was sworn in to the Ogden Police Department.

“It is a huge honor for our family to have Nathan remembered and honored,” Nancy told Behind The Badge after the ceremony. “For being 24 years old, he left quite a legacy.”

Nancy Lyday did not speak at this ceremony. It took all she had to take the podium at his funeral.
“I hope I can get through this,” she said that day at Lindquist Field. “In fifth grade, Nathan Wrote a poem, ‘If I Were In Charge of the World’. The first line was he would get rid of broccoli and then he said he would get rid of bullies.”

“He was all about honor. He treated everyone with kindness,” Nancy said. “He could not stand contention. He loved for everyone to have peace and be happy, and anyway he could make that happen, he did. He just had a natural ability.”

Nancy said it all still doesn’t seem real, even 11 and a half months after that horrible Thursday afternoon.

“You feel like it happened just yesterday, but then it’s been almost a year,” she said through tears. “I can’t believe it and I do, I pick up the phone ‘I gotta tell…Nate’ and that doesn’t go away.”

Now, officer Lyday’s service and sacrifice will live permanently on the memorial wall, a place where Nancy plans to visit.

“We hear ‘Never Forgotten,’ but little by little, it’s just a natural occurrence, but there’s always going to be a little piece of Nate,” she said. “Now I have someplace you can come and have a little piece and remember the things that he stood for that was right.”

Nancy plans to be present at another emotional ceremony this October when her son’s name is added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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