President Barak Obama addressed the thousands in attendance at the 32nd Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service Wednesday morning.
The annual event, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, is held every year on the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
"The scripture tells us: 'None of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself,' " he said. "The brave officers we gather to remember today devoted themselves so fully to others -- to serve and to protect others -- that in the process, they were willing to give their lives.
"So today, let us now remember them just for how they died, but also for how they lived," he said.
One of the officers Obama singled out during his speach was Jupiter, Fla. Police Officer Bruce St. Laurent, who was killed last September when his motorcycle was struck during a motorcade while escorting the president from a campaign event in Palm Beach County.
"He was, according to a friend, 'Just what a cop should be.' Tough compassionate, caring and brave," he said. "But to his community he was more than a cop. He was a cancer survivor; he was a guest teacher at Jupiter High School, who used the law of traffic to help students learn physics.
"I have the privilege of working with some of the nation's finest law enforcement officers and professionals every day, and I'm perpetually mindful of the scarifies they make . . . but never more so than when I hear Officer St. Lourent was struck and killed by another vehicle while driving his motorcycle as part of my motorcade."
Obama said that citizens should always find ways to thank law enforcement officers and first responders for the jobs they do on a regular basis.
"We should not pause and remember to thank first responders and police officers only in the wake of tragedy," he said. "We should do it every day."
At the conclusion of the memorial service, leaders of the FOP, the FOP Auxiliary, Concerns of Police Survivors and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund brought the wreath from the Capitol to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to remain under the watch of honor guards from across the country for the rest of the evening.
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