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updated: 5/9/2014 4:44 PM

Lake County's 17 fallen police officers, families honored during memorial ceremony in Waukegan

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  • Video: Lake County Police Memorial

  • Local police officers salute Friday during the Lake County Police Memorial at Lincoln Memorial Plaza in Waukegan. The ceremony honored 17 officers from Lake County who have died in the line of duty since 1894.

       Local police officers salute Friday during the Lake County Police Memorial at Lincoln Memorial Plaza in Waukegan. The ceremony honored 17 officers from Lake County who have died in the line of duty since 1894.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran speaks during the Lake County Police Memorial at Lincoln Memorial Plaza in Waukegan. Friday's ceremony honored 17 officers from Lake County who have died in the line of duty since 1894.

       Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran speaks during the Lake County Police Memorial at Lincoln Memorial Plaza in Waukegan. Friday's ceremony honored 17 officers from Lake County who have died in the line of duty since 1894.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

More than 100 police officers and 50 civilians honored the police officers from Lake County who have died in the line of duty and their families Friday during the annual Police Memorial ceremony in Waukegan.

The hourlong ceremony outside the Lake County Courthouse featured the playing of Taps to honor fallen officers -- 17 have died in the line of duty since 1894.

There were also speeches by Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, Undersheriff Ray Rose, Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim, Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles and Lindenhurst Police Chief Kevin Klahs, who heads the Lake County Police Chief's Association.

Hainesville Police Cpl. Cesar Velazquez was the last officer killed in the line of duty in Lake County. He was killed in 2009.

Klahs pointed out in his speech the difference between working a civilian job and a job as a police officer is that lives are at stake when they are called into action.

"In your job, you strive to succeed," he explained. "In our job, we strive to survive."

Nerheim thanked the officers for tirelessly putting themselves in harms way to uphold the peace, adding that without them, there would be chaos.

"We know there is a very thin line between chaos and a civilized society," Nerheim said. "That line is you."

Rose also thanked the families of police officers for standing behind the many men and women who uphold the law.

"We are not only here today to remember the fallen, but to honor life," he said.

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