Siouxland families attend emotional candlelight vigil in Washing - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Siouxland families attend emotional candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTIV) -

Since 1791, more than 20,000 law enforcers, in the United States, have died in the line of duty. Every year, they're service and sacrifice is honored in Washington, D.C. during "National Police Week." The week began with an emotional candlelight vigil.

From one flame, thousands of candles of were lit illuminating the careers of countless law enforcers who asked little, but gave much. One by one, Tuesday night, their names were read. 286 law enforcement officers, who made the ultimate sacrifice. "Across this great country, and throughout history, America's law enforcement officers have come to stand for all that every citizen should aspire to," said Eric Holder, Attorney General.

100 of them died in 2013, including Jamie Buenting. Last September, Buenting, a Rockwell City police officer, was shot and killed in the line of duty. His widow, Mandy, made the emotional trip to the memorial, to honor her husband's memory. "It's not what I expected," Mandy Buenting said. "It's much bigger. More honorable."

It's easy to get overwhelmed with 20,000 people packing the memorial plaza. But, it's not unexpected. The law enforcement community is a tight-knit one. When one falls, the all grieve "It's just amazing," Buenting said. "It really shows how those brother and sisters in blue really stick together, and really provide for their lost loved ones. And, I say loved ones because they really do love their brothers and sisters in blue.

Mike Hofmeyer couldn't agree more. "It's a brotherhood, a sisterhood," Hofmeyer said. Mike and his brother, Jeff, were born in Orange City, Iowa. They're police officers in Los Angeles. They came to honor their brother, David, who died in the line of duty serving on the LAPD in 1988. "There are no words to even express it. It's very overwhelming to see all of the people here all for one purpose." Jeff Hofmeyer echoed that sentiment. "It makes me proud to be an officer."

That pride that will linger long after the candles burn out.

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