AUSTIN (KXAN) — There was a majestic, in-sync procession onto the Texas State Capitol grounds on Sunday evening to honor Texas law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Flags waved with pride and heads were held high to honor a group of men and women who risked everything.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers, family and friends gathered for the memorial.
“They open a body bag, and there was my son,” Domingo Jasso, a father who lost his son in the line of duty said. “Can you imagine as a parent? Here I go again. I’ve been crying for the last year and a half.”
The South Texan said he lost his son, a border patrol officer, to COVID-19.
“All of these people are the same way I am, mourning,” Jasso said.
According to a National Law Enforcement fatality report, more officers nationally died due to COVID-19 last year compared to any other cause of death. Others died from firearms and traffic-related incidents.
The report said line of duty deaths were up 55% in 2021.
Jasso is in pain, but honoring his son and other soldiers, beside other families who have endured loss, made him feel a little less alone.
“The officers that we honor tonight were our partners, were our loved ones,” a Laredo Police Department patrol officer said.
“Even though the courageous men and women that we honor tonight are no longer with us, they are never truly gone,” Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Abbott was the keynote speaker at the memorial and candlelight vigil. He presented medals to families of the fallen officers. He also offered his condolences saying the state of Texas will forever honor those living and fallen in the line of duty.
Sixty-two new names from Texas were engraved on the monument.