Hundreds gather to pay tribute to fallen officers - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds gather to pay tribute to fallen officers

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Hundreds of officers from around Texas paid tribute to their fallen brothers and sisters by marching in the Peace Officers' Memorial Parade on Congress Ave. Monday morning.

Five-year-old, Adan Romero, watches for his father, an officer with the El Paso Police Department.

"He was on a bike," said Romero.

The little boy says he's proud of his father and wants to be a motorcycle officer too when he grows up.

The pageantry of the parade may seem deep rooted. But the ceremony honoring fallen Texas officers didn't start until 1987. For 150 years, officers who died in the line of duty weren't recognized.

Now, families of the 26 fallen officers in the past two years can listen to roll call and the end of watch. Like the Padron family who traveled from El Paso to be present at the ceremony.

It has been 13 months since Austin Police Officer, Jaime Padron, was shot and killed. He was responding to a shop lifting and intoxicated person call at a North Austin Walmart when he died. His family says this ceremony means more than words can express.

"We take in every moment because we don't want to forget. It's very moving and very special to us," said Linda Padron Diaz about her brother.

Padron's former partner from the San Angelo Police Department made the trip to honor his friend. He had his motorcycle helmet painted, never forget, Jaime Padron.

Brian Bylsma stated, "both of us have always been real close even when he moved out here, my wife kind of called us a bunch of old women, that we were constantly talking to each other."

Quiet sniffles became louder when the riderless horse walked by. The silence soon pierced by a 21 gun salute, followed by APD's pipes and drums playing Amazing Grace. Finally, officers retired the memorial wreath. The final step to a solemn good bye in a ceremony that makes sure Texans never forget and always remember.

As of Monday, Jaime Padron's name is now on the Peace Officers' Memorial Monument located on the north grounds of the Capitol. His name is one of 1799 names on the wall.

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