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Fallen officers remembered on Police Appreciation Day

Cheektowaga police officer Phil Williams, left, carries a wreath as a procession enters St. Joseph Cathedral this morning. (Derek Gee / Buffalo News) 

DOWNTOWN BUFFALO -- "It's a course that many know, but few understand," said Chief Anthony Palombo of the Erie County Association of Chiefs of Police this morning during a police memorial service at St. Joseph Cathedral. 

 A course that "requires unselfish service to all of us," added Palombo. 

The memorial service was a part of Police Appreciation Day and remembered and honored not only Western New York police officers killed in the line of duty, but all officers from around the country who sacrificed their lives in the name of protection. 

"May 17, 1792, New York City Deputy Sheriff Isaac Smith becomes the first reported law enforcement officer of the United States to be killed in the line of duty," said acting Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda during the service. "May 3, 2010, Detroit Police Officer Brian Huff becomes the most recent. The cold hard fact is in the span of 218 years, more than 90 police officers from Western New York and nearly 19,000 from throughout the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities."

Mayor Byron W. Brown spoke about the fallen men as community heroes. 

"Today we honor the fallen police heroes of our region for giving the ultimate sacrifice of protecting our citizens and our community," he said.

"The men and women of the Buffalo Police Department, those in our surrounding communities, the state police, and federal agencies prove each day their professionalism and place themselves in harm's way for our safety. May we never forget their bravery, dedication to duty, and selfless service to our citizens."

Here's a video of the service:

--Lauren Nicole Mariacher

A multi-agency color guard stands together at St. Joseph Cathedral this morning. (Derek Gee / Buffalo News) 

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