National Police Week: Blue Mass honors nation's 120 fallen officers
Bagpipes mixed with the sound of pouring rain Tuesday as officers marched through Northwest D.C. to the Blue Mass.
The annual mass is a final farewell to officers killed in the line of duty in the last year. In 2012, 120 officers died in the line of duty nationwide.
In the D.C. area, Prince William County Ofc. Chris Yung and Prince George's County Ofc. Adrian Morris were both killed in car accidents.
Prince George's County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw said, "Adrian Morris was a tremendous young man who served this county and paid the ultimate sacrifice, and we came here not just to remember but to celebrate his life."
For some, the service offers a sense of peace and comfort. But for veteran law enforcement, losing a colleague never gets easier.
"It's really a profound sadness for me. Many of these officers I knew, just thinking about their families and knowing what they're struggling with as they go on - it's difficult," said Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger.
For the agencies that didn't lose one of their own on the job this year, the mass is a reminder that tomorrow could be different.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said, "Everyday that we come to work and everybody goes home that's a good day, but it's never out of your mind ever."
The Blue Mass marks the beginning of National Police Week, a celebration of law enforcement officers past and present, as well as their service and sacrifice.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.