JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Monday was a day to honor law enforcement who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Towns across the country and here in Eastern North Carolina recognized Peace Officers Memorial Day. Several ENC law enforcement agencies gathered at the Jacksonville Public Safety Remembrance Garden to pay tribute to the fallen officers committed to serving the community. 

“When somebody makes the ultimate sacrifice, we owe it to them to make sure that we never forget that sacrifice,” said Jacksonville Police Chief Michael Yaniero.

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With the playing of Taps and a 21-gun salute, community members and law enforcement came together to remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty, in total, over 23,000 across the nation and seven in Onslow County.

“Steve Black, you know, and when that happened, when you’re an agency head, you get a notification like that. It tugs on your heartstrings,” said Hans Miller, the former sheriff of Onslow County. “You think about the families and the children and the community in general.”

Some of those who have lost their lives they’ve worked alongside over the years at neighboring agencies.

“Sharon Austin was an SBI agent that I worked with a long time ago,” Onslow County Sheriff Chris Thomas said. “Warren Lewis, he was a task force officer. All good people, all dedicated to service.”

With each and every officer dedicating their life to protecting others.

“It’s also about the officers that are serving today because of the sacrifices they make every single day,” added Yaniero.

All hoping and praying there won’t be more in the future.

“We don’t want that to ever occur again, we don’t want any of our brothers or sisters to lose their lives. But it’s one of the dangers that the job entails,” said Miller.

It is also National Police Week to recognize the past and present officers for what they do.