Washington, D.C. - It was a somber walk for hundreds of grieving families onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the 40th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service.
"These sisters and sons of sacrifice, they are the crowns of their families, their homes and communities," said Rick Snyder, the chaplain for the National Fraternal Order of Police.
As the country honored the ordinary men and women who chose a life with extra ordinary purpose, whose character has been tested to not back down.
"They have tested our perseverance, yet we are still standing tall, and they have without a doubt tested our noble profession, yet we still stand strong along a line between order and chaos," said James Smallwood, the national treasurer for the National Fraternal Order of Police.
Also remembering those who made the ultimate sacrafice.
"As we reflect on the loss of our loved ones and colleagues we begin to question the cost of the sacrifice made," said Smallwood.
2020 was the deadliest year on record to be a cop.
"Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder today than its ever been," said President Joe Biden.
In front of thousands of grieving families and law enforcement officers from across the nation, President Biden vowed to push for police reform, saying officers are being asked to do too much.
"Unless we can change the environment of the job, we are going to have trouble having enough men and women willing to come forward to do the job," said President Biden.
Then one by one families and police departments honored the 491 fallen heroes of the past two years by placing a flower in a wreath, along with being presented a Medal of Valor.
As the 309th name was called, Grand Forks Police Officer Cody Holte, the skies opened up.
One local officer said it wasn't rain, just a few extra tears.
The message was clear when it comes to honoring fallen officers like Cody Holte, strive to remember them not as they are now but who they were.
"Say their names, say them often so their memories will live on forever," said Smallwood.