The Elgin Police Department Wednesday held its annual memorial service to honor the lives lost in the line of duty during the past year.
While bagpipes played and police officers lowered flags to half staff, Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda addressed his fellow officers and the public.
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"While words on days like today can seem empty, they are at least a start," Swoboda said. "And when those words are coupled with a physical gathering, like we are doing now, that adds strength to those words."
On a very quiet Douglas Avenue, closed to traffic for the event, the clicking sounds of the flagpole gears could be heard as the flags inched down the flagpoles. As honor guard officers fired their rifles into the air in a salute, the sound of empty cartridges hitting the pavement were easily heard. Officers from various regional police departments stood at attention in their dress blues for the 16th annual memorial service held in Elgin each May 15, National Police Officer Memorial Day.