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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A powerful assembly of police and family packed Tropical Park Thursday night for the 37th annual law enforcement memorial.

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The afternoon was filled with memories where helicopters flew high and emotions ran deep.

Victims’ families expressed how the event helps them cope with their past.

Nancy Pringle, who lost her brother-in-law shortly after he retired, said she comes to the memorial every year.

“It’s just a great way to remember not just him but all those law enforcement people that put their lives on the line every day,” she said.

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A woman named Maria Molina showed up to the event because she lost her niece when she was only 23 years old. Molina said she was on her way to work when she got into an accident near Dolphin Mall.

“When I was a young girl I wanted to be a police officer so I lived that dream through her and we’re very very proud of her,” said Molina.

The event came with a series of speakers who talked about their loves ones and shared stories of their lives.

At one point, a horse trotted down the aisle, a symbol for those who are gone, but not forgotten.

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The month of May is designated as the national month to remember law enforcement officers in the United States.