It was their duty to serve, and it’s ours to remember.
Thursday evening, 138 fallen officers from police departments and law enforcemnet agencies in Miami-Dade County were honored at a spectacular memorial in Miami.
It has been more than three years since the engravers took their tools to the black granite walls of the new memorial.
"It is beautiful,” said Nirza Rodriguez. “What the atmosphere, what you feel when you're here, once it starts, you can't let go."
Rodriguez lost her daughter 11 years ago. Her name, like the others, is forever etched in stone.
"It's easy for me to remember her every day,” said Rodriguez. "It's very important for me to see others remember what they did."
Though there is no speech, ceremony, tribute or salute that can ease the unimaginable pain, they join together each year to honor their loved ones’ courage, and fill their hearts with this community’s gratitude.
"She was an outgoing person,” said Naomi Echevarria, whose sister, Rosa, died in 2007. “She enjoyed the breeze, the air, so when I come and I sit, I love that. I'm sitting with her in a way."