VIDEO: Abbott Honors 37 Officers Killed in Line of Duty

Governor Greg Abbott attends memorial ceremony
Governor Greg Abbott attends memorial ceremony | Image by Office of the Governor Greg Abbott/Facebook

A memorial ceremony was held in Austin on Sunday in honor of 37 officers who were killed in the line of duty.

The annual Texas Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony took place at the Capitol, where Gov. Greg Abbott delivered a Texas Medal of Honor to one member of each fallen officer’s family.

“This Peace Officer Memorial is far more than just a granite monument — it is an eternal reminder of the unsung Texas heroes taken too soon,” said Abbott in a press release. “In Texas, we support our law enforcement officers, especially those whose bravery and valor led to the ultimate sacrifice.”

Various police agencies from across the Lone Star State participated in the ceremony and candlelight vigil, with representatives from the police departments of Plano and Mansfield in attendance.

“We typically have about a thousand people,” Gretchen Grigsby, director of government relations for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, told Fox 7 Austin. “They are representatives from survivor groups, those that have been impacted by a line of duty death themselves, law enforcement officers from across that state, as well as the public.”

The families of fallen peace officers were also invited to put red roses on the wreaths hung in remembrance of their loved ones. The memorial honors those who served in the state as far back as the late 19th century.

Abbott emphasized the historical continuity between the peace officers of today and those of the past while expressing gratitude for their steadfast work in the face of adversity.

“It is easy to forget that this land we stand on was once the Wild West. Peace officers who serve today follow the same rich tradition of famous Texas lawmen who helped tame the Wild West,” he said. “As we all well know, there are still dangers, and it still takes brave men and women to face those dangers every day,” he said. “Without their hard work and dedication, justice would go undone. We are eternally grateful for the valor of those heroes who face danger, fight for justice, and keep Texas safe.”

Eleven law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in Texas last year, and five have died so far in 2024, according to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page. Nationwide, there have been 54 deaths of peace officers this year and 137 last year.

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