Friday was officially declared ‘Wade Palmer Day’ by Missoula County Commissioners, as Palmer was honored on the steps of the county courthouse at a noon ceremony.

With Palmer and his family seated in the front row, Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott opened the ceremony by welcoming the crowd, mostly made up of law enforcement personnel from the Montana Highway Patrol, The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and the Missoula City Police Department.

County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier then read the proclamation into the official record and introduced Deputy Montana Attorney General Jon Bennion who expressed the gratitude of the entire Montana department of Justice for Palmer’s heroism and his continuing recovery from the devastating wounds he suffered on March 15, 2019.

Bennion spoke with KGVO News following the ceremony.

“What I wanted Trooper Palmer to know how much not only this community, but the state of Montana law enforcement and everyone around embraces him,” said Bennion. “We’re all lifting him up in prayer for thanks for his service, and for his recovery. It’s such a great thing for the Missoula County Commissioners to honor Wade for his service today.”

Bennion looked back at the first time he met Trooper Palmer when he received the highest honor for a trooper after he saved the life of a woman after an accident on an icy I-90 near Frenchtown.

“That was the first time that I actually met him,” he said. “I was deeply impressed with the kind of service, dedication and bravery that he exemplified just as a part of that incident, but since then, and especially what happened over a year ago. It was very tragic, but his recovery and his perseverance and his dedication are very noteworthy, and I’m so glad that Missoula is taking notice of that.”

On March 15, 2019 Palmer was critically wounded by a gunman as he was investigating a double murder that had occurred in Missoula that night. He was transported to St. Patrick Hospital and then to Salt Lake City for surgery and treatment. Palmer returned to Missoula on May 22, 2019, just one year ago to the day of his special ceremony on the courthouse steps.

The ceremony was not publicized due to concerns about the lack of social distancing that a large crowd would have attracted.