Police officers from Great Britain, left, California, center, and Arizona salute during the 13th annual National Peace Officer's Memorial Service.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Cliff Owen
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world turned out Sunday to honor their brothers and sisters in blue who gave the ultimate sacrifice last year.
The sound of bagpipes drifted through the streets of the nation's capital throughout the day as police pipes and drum bands performed.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the annual service is not only a time for paying tribute to the fallen, but for recalling memories as well.
"National Police Week is a time to reflect on all that we ask of law enforcement, and all that law enforcement provides in return," she said. "It is also a time to rededicate ourselves to the cause for which these fallen officers served -- the protection of our country, upholding the rule of law, and the pursuit of justice."
She mentioned seven DHS law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year, and her sadness.
While the absence of a partner, friend, mentor, spouse will linger, but she encouraged people to share memories about their loved one.
During her remarks, groups of uniformed officers stood at parade rest. Others were alone and solemn.
When the name of the fallen hero was called, a family member came forward to place a red carnation into a large wreath. After the ceremony, it was placed at the National Law Enforcement Memorial, several blocks away.
Cliff Gill, a drummer in the U.S. Customs Pipe and Drum Band, said he was humbled to take part.
"This is all about honoring the fallen," he said. "We hold our band members to high standards."