HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Police officers and their families showed up in Huntsville to remember officers who died in the line of duty. Widows and their families are thankful for the support of the community.
A police officer is a job with danger that's always present, but not commonly talked about.
"I sleep more soundly knowing he's home," Chantaine Bulluck said. Bulluck's husband is a sheriff's deputy captain.
For every police officer who doesn't come home, there's a knock on the door for their loved ones.
"It was unreal. My mind couldn't comprehend what was happening," Debbie Odell said.
It's been four years since Odell laid to rest her husband Roger. He suffered a heart attack on duty, so she knew she had to be in Huntsville to join fellow law enforcement families.
"Some days, it's like day one all over again," Odell said.
On Wednesday evening, officers, troopers and sheriff's deputies remembered 23 names outside the courthouse.
Emily Freeman was seven years old when her father Eric was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Her brother Cameron is less than a year out of the academy.
"It's kind of frightening to see him. But it also almost seems like its come full circle, because even before my dad died, my brother wanted to emulate him," Emily said.
The newest name on the wall is officer Keith Earle, who died following a car accident last year.
"But even one life being given needlessly is more than enough. And I think we need to be here to recognize that," Bulluck said.
It was a full salute and a solemn ceremony, a tradition that Huntsville and Madison agencies say they plan to keep alive as long as they can.
The ceremony in Huntsville happens before national police week, during which officers from around the country travel to Washington DC for a series of tributes to fallen officers.