FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In honor of National Police Week and Peace Officers' Memorial Day, a Fallen Officers' Memorial Ceremony was held in Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers Wednesday morning.
"I want you all to take a look around me. You see the hundreds of men and women all in uniform. Every day they put on that uniform and make a sacrifice to defend our community. Today they took a second to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty."
Whether suited up in green, or in blue, the colors didn't matter as politicians, community members and law enforcement saluted the fallen in red with a rose.
Donnie Fewell lost his brother in the line of duty. "In 1983, March 16th, he responded to a domestic violence complaint. As he exited his patrol car he was shot with a 12 gauge shotgun."
As Donnie accompanies his mother, lying a rose next to his name today, he says they'll never forget that tragic day 33 years ago. "He lost his life that day. Part of us went away that day. You never get over it, you just kind of get used to it."
Getting used to death doesn't come easy. But it comes with the risk these officers face when they put on their badge.
"Law enforcement remains a very dangerous business. We see this playing out time and time again in the streets across the country. We take it very seriously, and this is just a time for us to pause and reflect," said Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott.
And reflect is what these first responders did with each name called, every song sung, and each shot fired in a 21 gun salute.
"It's important to see everybody in all these different uniforms come out and show up. There's people I believe from FHP, Punta Gorda, obviously Fort Myers, Lee County Sheriffs Office, Charlotte County," said Fort Myers interim police chief Dennis Eads.