North Texas fallen officers honored at Garden of Honor

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People across the country and around the world remembered and honored members of the military killed while serving.

And this was the first Memorial Day for the families of the Dallas officers murdered in the ambush last July.

One of the slain officers, Patrick Zamarripa, was recognized at the ceremony Monday morning at DFW National Cemetery. He also served three tours in Iraq with the U.S. Navy.

Patrick’s father, Enrique, spoke to FOX 4 after the ceremony. He expressed how much he was touched by Monday’s honor and would miss him until he is with him someday.

“That boy amazed me. He's always done things to amaze me. He's always done the right things,” Enrique said. “He put God, his country and family — all that together. He loved his country. He loved being a patriot. He loved being a police officer. He loved being a soldier or naval guy. He just loved his country.”

After the service, people spent time at their loved one’s grave, all marked with American flags.

The Dallas Fallen Officers Association held a special service to also honor several other officers and two other officers killed in the July ambush: Michael Smith and Loren Ahrens.

“We're gathered here today to honor those who chose a life to put protection above their own,” said State Police Commissioner Roy Kyker. “They’ve gone beyond the call of duty. And to them today, we say thank you.”

The service was held at the Garden of Honor. The land and memorial were donated by the Hunt family as a place for officers killed in the line of duty.

Eight officers who courageously answered the call were laid to rest there, representing Dallas, Grand Prairie, Lancaster and Little Elm police departments. Three officers were from the July attack on police.

“I lost good friends, real close friends, classmates, partners,” said DPD Det. Andy Carceres. “Definitely an honor to not forget who they are or what they did for the city of Dallas.”

Among those laid to rest in the Garden of Honor is Jerry Walker, the first Little Elm police officer to fall while holding the thin blue line.

“It means a lot that they're honoring not just my dad, but other dads, other husbands that put their lives on the line,” said Jerry Walker, Jr.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said each day law enforcement keep us safe from dangers we can’t begin to contemplate.

“To all the surviving family members here today, we say thank you,” he said. “We can’t know the burden that you bear, but we do know the debt of gratitude we owe to each and every one of you.”

“So I hope you will pray with me that we add no more names to this beautiful Garden of Honor,” said DPD Deputy Chief Malik Aziz.

This is the third year the foundation has held the Garden of Honor ceremony.