Everyday they put on a badge to serve and protect, not knowing what dangers await.
Since 1869, 46 officers from the Quad Cities area have been killed in the line of duty. From inside Heritage Church in Bettendorf to the Quad Cities Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Rock Island, families and officers use today as their own "Memorial Day."
"It kind of brings back a lot of the memories," says Mary Johnson. Johnson lost her son Todd back in 1993. He was just 23 years old.
Joan Massey lost her son Ty, also in 1993. Year after year, she says the annual ceremony still brings back a rush of emotions.
"I think as we were coming over the bridge and seeing the flag, and the rider less horse, all the officers that show up," Massey explains. "It really touches me."
Officers agree; the whole day reminds them any day could be their last.
"When you put on the badge, we all know that's a possibility," says Bruce Schwarz, Bettendorf Police. "But knowing that's a possibility, we continue to do the job anyway."
Massey says if there's one thing she hopes everyone can take away from the memorial service - it's to cherish and honor those who serve and protect.
"An ordinary day for an officer can be his last," she says. "So we should give them the respect and appreciation for being out there on an everyday basis."
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