ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. -- Twelve law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in St. Lucie County were remembered Thursday in a memorial service during National Police Week.
Law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, community leaders and their families filled the pews at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Port St. Lucie.
During the service, loved ones of those killed were given roses. A 21 Gun Salute, multi-agency honor guard and vigil were among the decorated tributes.
Carolyn Holerger’s father in law, St. Lucie County Sgt. Harold Holerger was killed in the line of duty more than 30 years ago. He was killed when he was struck by a motor vehicle while directing traffic at the entrance to Westwood High School in Fort Pierce at the start of the school day.
Holerger attended the annual memorial service with her husband, Sgt. Holerger’s son, for decades.
Though her husband has passed away, she continues the tradition.
“It was so hard on my husband because they were so close. He made me promise him that I would keep up the tradition with this,” Holerger said.
Local law enforcement agencies, and departments across the country are holding similar memorial services this week.
National Police Week brings thousands of law enforcement officers to Washington D.C. each year.
John F. Kennedy declared May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day in 1962.
Annual memorials have been held every year, during the week of May 15, since 1982.