They died in the line of duty. Now communities across the country are giving thanks to men and women who have given everything.
A thin blue line was flown across the nation on Tuesday, May 15 as fallen officers were remembered.
Peace Officers Memorial Day comes during a week-long celebration of community heroes.
“He was a hero,” said Tiffani Simpson.
Simpson remembers her uncle Rusty Herrick at Flint Memorial Park every year.
He was a Burton police officer who was killed in the line of duty before Simpson was born.
“I grew up hearing all the stories about him. It’s almost like we did know him,” Simpson said.
Simpson and many others honored the badge at the 59th annual Peace Officers Memorial Day. Current and retired law officials gathered at Flint Memorial Park, along with their loved ones.
Current city leaders said they are grateful to be part of the memorial.
“And to honor the officers in our country and in our communities every day. Go to work and they become every day heroes. I’m honored to be a small part of that,” Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said.
“I know the courage the men and women in uniform display. I know the split-second decisions they have to make. I feel fortunate that they keep our community safe and secure. So grateful for them for all they do,” Leyton said.
Simpson is so proud of her uncle’s life that she named her son Rusty after him.
“He had such a strong role in our family. He was so important. It was a perfect name for him,” Simpson said.
She adds she will keep coming to the event every year to make sure Rusty remembers his uncle too.
“I think it’s awesome that they continue this every year to remember and to honor the people that keep us safe,” Simpson said.
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