Hundreds of people paid their respects Thursday to those who wear the badge. It was an emotional morning to remember fallen officers.
The honor guard, with several different law enforcement agencies represented, opened the special tribute to those who are no longer with us.
City councilman Garry Gernandt, a retired Omaha Police Sergeant, put on his blues for one reason. He said, “I made a promise to one of the honorees that if and when the day ever came and I was asked to read this document, to take the stage and go back in time and wear the uniform we so proudly wore all those years, I'm keeping the promise."
Moments later Gernandt escorted Officer Arthur Erikson's family to the wreath so that a flower could be placed in his memory. Erikson had been on the force for 29 years.
More than 20 officers were recognized for their sacrifice. Their families stood by to remember. Some of the officers had died in retirement. Others were taken away way too early, such as Detective Greg Hamill. He died this year from complications of H1N1.
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer wanted to make sure we knew of the sacrifice the family carries with this type of a job.
He said, “It's very easy to speak of my pride I have for all the uniforms out here protecting the city and state and country. I see family and all the sacrifices you did in order to deal with our careers."