MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula-area law enforcement officials mourned the loss of their fallen comrades in the 17th annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony.
It was an evening to remember as dozens of families, friends and community members paid their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The ceremony opened with the national anthem, followed by speeches from Suzanne Peterson, of the City of Missoula Police Commission, and Police Chief Mike Brady.
The ceremony took on greater significance this year after the death of Broadwater County Sheriff's Deputy Mason Moore, who was killed Tuesday. A moment of silence marked his remembrance.
"A deputy died in the line of duty doing something that we all do every day," said Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Travis Welsh. "As we are here tonight for this ceremony he will be in our thoughts, as well as his family."
"I think we've got some people here who have to deal with the worst, and it brings out the best in them," said Missoula resident Matt Brainard.
It was a special evening for many, like Ethan LePiane who lost his grandfather, Stephen LePiane, in the line of duty.
"I come out here every year and put a rose," he said.
Ashley Wegener works for dispatch in Cascade County but made the trip to Missoula Thursday to pay respects.
"I've seen a lot of these folks daily, and it's really important to support," she said.
Deputies and officers received dozens of awards for acts of heroism. Family members and officials laid roses in front of the Missoula Rose Garden's law enforcement memorial in honor of lost loved ones.
"(This is) something that brings us all together and reminds us that we are all a family and that we care about each other," Welsh added.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Moore’s family. You can find a link to donate here.