WACO, Texas (KWTX) Law enforcement officers from throughout McLennan County paused Thursday to honor officers who’ve died in the line of duty.
The annual McLennan County Peace Officer Memorial ceremony Thursday morning at Indian Spring Park was led by Waco Police Sgt. Sam Key.
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jeff Kyle was the speaker.
Kyle, who served from 2000 to 2008 and deployed twice to Iraq and once to Africa, works with the American Valor Foundation which supports military veterans, first responders and their families.
“Coming from the veteran community the military community I know what it means to put on a uniform and to serve every day," he said.
"The difference between law enforcement and first responders in the military is that when we come home we don't have to fight. Every day that law enforcement and first responders put their uniforms on they have to fight.” Kyle said.
During the ceremony, the names of officers from McLennan County agencies who died in the line of duty were read and a bell was rung as each name was read.
Taps was played, the plaintive skirl of bagpipes sounded, and officers fired a 21-gun salute.
A wreath was laid on the Peace Officer Memorial in the park along with roses.
Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver has issued a proclamation designating this week as 2019 Peace Officer Memorial Week in the city.
In 2018, 163 law enforcement officers were killed across the United States, 12 of them in Texas.
So far in 2019, 42 have died, three of them in Texas.