JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of people gathered downtown Wednesday morning for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's annual Tribute to Our Fallen Officers ceremony.
The service honored the 61 men who have died in the line of duty since 1840 and included the dedication of the Fallen Officers Memorial Wall, which stands in front of the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
"The legacy of your loved one is not forgotten" was the message local law enforcement and community members wanted to give surviving families of officers who died in the line of duty.
After families were escorted to their seats, the ceremony began. The service included the presentation of colors, a 21-gun salute by the JSO Honor Guard and final roll call.
"It's just another opportunity for us to let them know we haven't forgotten the sacrifice that their loved one made and that they made to keep our community safe," Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said.
The Fallen Officers Memorial Wall started off five years ago as an idea from an Eagle Scout, and it holds the names of 61 fallen officers in Jacksonville, including Officer Ira Wayne Bramlitt Jr.
"(He was) an all-American boy -- hunt, fish, loved life," his father, Wayne Bramlitt, told News4Jax. "He did give his life for the city of Jacksonville."
Officer Ira Wayne Bramlitt Jr. made the ultimate sacrifice at the young age of 29. He was killed in a crash trying to capture robbery suspects. His family members said they are glad to see the community coming together to honor the men and women who risk their lives everyday.
"It makes you feel good. It still doesn't take away what you miss," the Wayne Bramlitt said. "It's really nice that these people pay tribute to the people they do."
Following the ceremony, the Fraternal Order of Police hosted a luncheon for the surviving families.