ROCHESTER, Minn. – In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation declaring this week in May as National Police Week.
Law enforcement all over the nation honors those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. That includes an event in southern Minnesota.
More than 100 came to the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial in Rochester to honor those who serve every day as well as those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“To show our support for the civil service side where people give so much for our freedoms on that side. Police, fire, emergency, all those things that they do. Without them, it’d be kind of havoc wouldn’t it?” said Rochester resident Scott Eggert.
He said although it was a meaningful ceremony, it is important to remember that these people are serving year-round.
“It’s just like anything else, anybody that puts themselves in the line where they can be harmed for protecting our freedom and our rights, wow, they should be honored every day,” Eggert said.
Those with the Minnesota State Patrol and area county and city departments say it is important to remember why they are doing what they are doing, and to remember the families who have lost their loved ones.
“To hear them tell their story about their son being born, going up to the day that they got the call, what they always feared, it makes a major impact on everybody,” said Captain Scott Behrns of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office.
To be the one to share those stories means that much more.
“What an honor, what an honor, to stand in front of these survivors, who give us strength to go out and carry on and do our job the right way, it really means a lot,” Behrns said.
This year’s event also focused on former Olmsted County Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Werner. Saturday will mark 38 years since he lost his life in the line of duty.