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LAPD Pays Tribute To Fallen Officers

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles Police Department Thursday paid tribute their fallen comrades killed in the line of duty.

Joy Benedict, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, attended the event downtown and said hundreds of people — the uniformed and civilians alike — turned out to honor the more than 200 men and women who have been gunned down while wearing a badge.

As bagpipes played and planes flew overhead in tribute, Benedict talked to Lisa Simmons, widow of SWAT officer Randal Simmons who died on February 7, 2008.

Says Simmons, “Within a couple of hours, I saw him and he was gone.”

In her children, she still sees her late husband. “When I look at them, I see him every day.”

This day, she came like many others, to place a rose at the Fallen Officer’s Memorial. His loss can still bring her to tears, even as the family celebrates new triumphs and celebrations. “I have a daughter graduating from high school,” Simmons says, “and he’s not here. So that is hard.”

Like many in grief, Simmons can’t relate to the idea that time can heal all wounds. Not for many people. “It never gets easier. You just learn to cope.”

Benedict also met Eileen Ryatt. She never met her grandfather — he was gunned down in the line of duty in 1934 — but she still attends the memorial service every year. “The thin blue line should never break. We should always remember.”

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