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Fallen Officers Honored During Annual Memorial Service

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It was a day of remembrance on Pittsburgh's North Shore Saturday as fallen police officers were honored at the annual Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

They serve with valor and distinction, sharing a common brotherhood and making sacrifices for our safety, but that protection comes at a price.

"It's something we can look forward to each year, to come together not only from the city but the county and Western Pennsylvania, and remember our fallen officers," said Pittsburgh Police Acting Chief Regina McDonald.

The ceremony on the North Shore was the first of many throughout the state and nation this week.

Hundreds of men and women in blue were in attendance, along with loved ones and survivors.

"You know, any time I felt down or I felt weak or I felt like I was stumbling, all I would think about was the victim's families, not only their biological families but their larger law enforcement families," said Judge Mark Tranquilli, the ceremony's keynote speaker.

It's become a place of reflection and gratitude, and soon, the memorial will include a tribute to K9 officers.

"We're going to add a K9 statue to the police memorial," said Donna J. Best, the president of the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. "We're working with the Sports and Exhibition Authority and the City of Pittsburgh's Art Commission; we have to get their permission to put in a new piece of art here."

K9 officer Brando did some of the modeling for that statue, bringing a sense of pride and honor to his partner.

"Realistically, you are with this dog, who is you partner, would do anything for you, more than you are with your own family," said Officer David Zacchia, of Swissvale Police.

It's a growing tribute for a community that remembers and thanks all who serve.

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