CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF-TV) - When we run away from trouble, law enforcement officers run into it!
And sometimes they make the supreme sacrifice on behalf of the communities they serve.
The annual Law Enforcement Memorial service makes sure we don't forget what they did.
BILL KILLIAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, EASTERN TENNESSEE "They never hesitate to answer the call. That is their job..their duty,and indeed, their real calling is life. It's who they are."
The top prosecutor in eastern Tennessee told those attending the memorial service that this event that its more than just a salute to law enforcement people. He says he personally knew many of those who paid the highest price while wearing the uniform.
The solemn observance honored every officer who died in the line of duty in southeast Tennessee dating back into the 1800's.
BILL KILLIAN "Since the first reported death in 1791, more than 20-thousand law enforcement officers in the united states have made the ultimate sacrifice and been killed in the line of duty."
The name of every officer who died in the line of duty southeast Tennessee was called, as fellow officers carried a red rose to the front.
The audience was filled with family and friends of the fallen officers.
Betty Collins' father was struck and killed by a car in Marion County.
BETTY COLLINS, DAUGHTER OF CONSTABLE O.B. BRAZIER "He had been a police officer most of my life..that's all we'd ever known. He loved it, that was what he lived for."
JAMES GANN, SON OF LT.DAVID GANN "In February 7, 2009, on his way in he was struck by a vehicle..motor vehicle accident..and lost his life."
Lt.Gann was a Sequatchie county school resource officer.
JAMES GANN "I think it's a wonderful time of healing, not only for the law enforcement community, but the survivors"
The program was moved inside the courts building because of the threat of rain.
This is the 50th year that Law Enforcement Memorial Day has been observed in the United States.