By Michael Abeyta

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)- In Golden and Brighton on Friday, family, friends and fellow officers gathered to memorialize those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their community.

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First, Colorado State Patrol added names to Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial. Seventeen historical officers who died in the line of duty were added and 9 from 2021.

Among those was Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley who gave his life during the King Soopers shooting. Also, Arvada Police Officer Gordan Beesley who was killed by a gunman in Old Towne Arvada in 2021.

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“As we gather today, we have no doubts that those we honor did all they could for their fellow citizens,” said Cole Finegan the United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. “And while most move away from danger, from gunfire, from violence there are those among us who run toward danger.”

Others were victims of an even more ruthless killer; COVID-19. Of the 9 officers who died in the line of duty in 2021, 7 died of COVID.

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“Sadly, COVID was the leading cause of death among American law enforcement officers last year. We pay tribute to those officers who sacrificed their health and ultimately their lives while keeping the rest of us safe,” said Finegan.

In Adams County, the sheriff’s office unveiled its own memorial just in time for National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Most of their fallen officers were historical deaths. The most recent line of duty death in that department was deputy Heath Gumm who was killed in 2018.

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“And we pray that we will never add another name to any wall,” said Adams County Sheriff Richard Reigenborn.

Because so many officers died from COVID-19 in 2021, a Denver Police Sargent decided to research how many Colorado officers died in the influenza outbreak of 1918. Eight of the historical deaths added Friday to the wall in Golden were officers killed by the flu.

Michael Abeyta