GREEN BAY - Flags were flown at half staff Wednesday as a sign of respect and remembrance. The day marked National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Officers who died on the job were remembered across the country and here in Northeast Wisconsin.
It's part of National Police Week, designated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
Fond du Lac police honored the memory of three of its own who gave their lives in the line of duty. A memorial ceremony was held at the Public Safety Memorial at Hamilton Park.
"The department has, in its 147 year history, lost three police officers in the line of duty. All three shot and killed while responding to crimes in progress or calls for help," said Fond du Lac Police Chief Bill Lamb.
One officer died in 1961, another in 1898. The most recent death was Craig Birkholz. He was shot and killed while assisting another officer at a domestic disturbance call in March of 2011.
"Craig's sacrifice is thought about daily, and that it continues to have a very profound and powerful impact on our department and our sworn oath to protect our community," Lamb said to the crowd in attendance.
At the Green Bay Police Department, law enforcement officers from multiple Brown County agencies stood in silent guard at the Community Tribute to Law Enforcement Memorial.
"What we are representing here is not only the profession, the officers that serve us still, the officers that have served us in the past, and unfortunately those that gave the ultimate sacrifice of being killed in the line of duty," said Green Bay Assistant Police Chief Lisa Sterr.
Dozens of officers took turns, standing present for 20 minutes at a time.
"It makes you really sit back and reflect on what you have, and how quickly that can be taken away from you," said De Pere Police Officer Joe Johnson.
People in the community stopped by to thank the officers and pay their own respects. That included the family of a Pulaski officer who stood guard.
"I thought it was a neat thing that he was doing, and an honorable thing that he's doing, and wanted to come out and show him we support him and the other officers and the officers that are no longer with us," said Ann Blank of Green Bay.
Only one Green Bay police officer has died on the job since the department's inception more than 150 years ago.
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