The names of the 120 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2012 were read Monday night at the National Law Enforcement Officer's memorial. Two of them were from Western Mass.
It was an emotional night as thousands gathered to honor their loved ones, including the families of Springfield police Officer Kevin Ambrose and Westfield police Officer Jose Torres.
A thin blue line stretched over the thousands who attended who held up flames vowing to never forget the fallen.
"All the survivors here, all the police departments, thousands and thousands of police officers to show that they're never going to forget the sacrifices that these officers made," said Springfield police Commissioner William Fitchet.
"This is our ultimate show of respect to everyone who's been killed in the line of duty," said Springfield police Officer Kevin Burnham.
Burnham was Ambrose's best friend. He and dozens of other Springfield officers made the trip.
"It's recognition that Kevin absolutely did the right thing. He was a great guy and you couldn't beat a patrolman like Kevin Ambrose, you couldn't," Burnham said.
Ambrose's and Torres' names were among the hundreds recognized.
Massachusetts State Police and Watertown police sat on the stage and were honored for coming together to capture the Boston Marathon bombing suspect.
"It was truly a display of federal, state and local law enforcement working together at its very best," said Craig Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
For those that loved Torres and Ambrose, the vigil provides a path toward healing, but never forgetting.
"Kevin was my neighbor, my best friend. He was a great guy and I miss him," Burnham said.
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