It was a somber Wednesday for the Aurora Police Department.
Police officers who died in the line of duty were honored at the Memorial Courtyard of the Aurora Municipal Center Campus in a ceremony that began shortly before noon.
Respect was paid to the fallen officers for how they had upheld the department's values of honor, integrity and duty, as the video above notes.
Not only was their sacrifice remembered but the sacrifice that their families members had made and still faced was as well.
Five specific police officers were honored:
- Debra Sue Corr, who was shot and killed in 1981 after a suspect grabbed her service weapon. She is, unfortunately, the first Aurora Police Department officer to be killed in the line of duty.
- Thomas Dietzman Jr., who was accidently shot and killed in 1985 while qualifying for the department’s SWAT team. He was noted to be a devoted family man and police officer.
- Edward Hockom, who was shot and killed in 1987 after stopping a vehicle suspected to be the one that had left the scene of an armed robbery.
- Michael Del Thomas, who was shot and killed in 2006 by a suspect while he sat at a traffic light.
- Doug Byrne, who was killed in 2007 in a vehicle accident while responding to a medical emergency.
Other fallen officers that died in the line of duty across Colorado since May 2016 were also honored, such as Colorado State Trooper Cody Donahue.
Aurora's Mayor Steve Hogan was there, along with family members of Doug Byrne and Cody Donahue.
Law officers can and do die in the line of duty. It's a sad truth. And sometimes, how they die can just make it seem all so pointless.
But that doesn’t mean they didn’t leave their mark on the community. They may no longer be here, but as the memorial showed, they have not been forgotten.
See the memorial for yourself, through the lens of photojournalist Tom Cole, in the video above.