MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Law enforcement officers from all over South Florida will gather Thursday night at Tropical Park for the 32nd annual Miami-Dade Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Ceremony.
The solemn and moving ceremony will be held to honor and remember the 138 federal, state and local law enforcement officers who, since 1865, have given their lives in the line of duty protecting the residents of Miami-Dade County.
This event is also a show of appreciation to all the men and women in uniform for their selfless service, commitment to protect our communities, and their courage as they face fear, danger, and adversity. Surviving family members and descendants of our lost heroes will travel from around the state and across the country to participate in this solemn sunset service.
“We believe that through fellowship and blending with the community we can appropriately honor those who have given their lives, while reassuring those left behind that their loved ones will never be forgotten,” said former Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus in a statement.
The ceremony will include the lighting of the commemorative torches by the chief official of each agency that has suffered losses, a “Riderless Horse,” a 21-gun salute and weather permitting a multiple helicopter fly-over.
Additionally, attending family members will pin flowers on a memorial shield.
The Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was established in 1980 to honor fallen officers from every police department and law enforcement agency within Miami-Dade County.
The original triple granite structure was unveiled in May 1981, and remains an integral part of the site.
In 2001, four black granite walls were erected; etched with the names of the gallant men and women who died serving the citizens of their community.
Two five-foot high towers were added to the site in 2002, to commemorate the law enforcement officers who were killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.