(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Law enforcement agencies and the community came together Wednesday morning for an annual fallen officer remembrance ceremony at City Hall.
Officers from the St. Joseph Police Department, troopers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and deputies from the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department were in attendance of Wendesday's ceremony.
“You know there’s no better gift you can give to lay down your life for your comrades and we need to honor those who have done that,” Captain James McDonald, the command officer of MSHP Troop H said.
Along with the community, law enforcement officers remembered the 17 officers who have lost their lives in Buchanan County.
"It’s a horrible tragedy however it was something they knew was possible when they started," McDonald said. "They were willing to make that sacrifice to protect the people in their community.”
In addition to the officers in attendance, many family members and friends of those lost in the line of duty were also at the event.
“The pain doesn’t end," Sarah Hardin, executive board member with the Fraternal Order of Police said. "It’s easy for life to go on and for communities to forget because they are not directly involved in it, but for those of us directly involved it’s still there.”
Hardin says even as the years go by, the pain never leaves.
“That pain, that loneliness, those missed big events that they are not a part of that continues to go on,” she said.
As this yearly event continues, officers do their job every day.
“Officers put their life on the line every single day," Hardin said. "Each day they go to work. They don’t know if they will be returning home and some of them don’t. And so it is so important for the rest of us in the communities to let their memory live on.”