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ROCHESTER, MN – They put their lives on the line to protect others.
An annual event that honors local heroes is happening in our area.
Police, firefighters, first responders and current and former military members; those are the folks being honored today in Rochester at the Heroes Day event.
Hundreds of people show up to say thanks and pay their respect to our local heroes.
Mayo one helicopter lands in the parking lot of Universal Marine and RV. It signifies the Saturday kick-off of the local hero’s event.
It’s an effort to honor those whose jobs go far beyond their pay grade, heroes who put their lives on the line every day to protect others.
“I don’t think they get enough recognition, I think a lot of times our children, our next generation don’t realize that our freedoms aren’t free,” says David Marquez with Universal Marine and RV.
Young and old look on as the honor guard raised the flags.
The honor bell rings 6 times for those who have sacrificed so much and the 7th was for those lives that have been lost.
A sobering reminder of the danger so many face to protect others.
“To be able to stand here today and be here in honor of my husband and everyone else who serves.”
Alicia Decker is the wife of cold spring officer Tommy Decker who was shot and killed while on duty in November of last year.
A table filled with Decker’s belongings along with his uniform were on display.
Alicia says it’s been a difficult day.
“It’s surreal. It’s hard. But it’s definitely worth it to keep him alive as long as I’m alive.”
Remembering the fallen and thanking those who serve, that’s what this day is all about.
“It’s a way for us as a community to give back to people that don’t always here thank you,” says Marquez.
“I’m grateful for all heroes that serve, for me personally, the ones that are out here everyday in our cities and putting their life on the line every day. Not everyone could do that, so I’m truly grateful,” adds Decker.
While there were some serious moments, most of the day was a celebration.
People were able to check out some of the equipment local police, firefighters and first responders use which was a highlight to many.