Hundreds of people from across the country were at Lincoln Cathedral on Sunday for a special memorial service to honour fallen police officers.
The National Police Memorial Day saw officials, including Home Secretary Priti Patel, dignitaries, and bereaved families travel to Lincoln to pay their respects, 12 months after the event had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
It was an emotional event and bereaved families were seen holding each other tight as the 2pm service got under way.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward, who spoke at the service, said it was a privilege to take part and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
He said: “It has been an honour for Lincolnshire to host the 2021 National Police Memorial Day.
“Men and women on the frontline, up and down the country, put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect and serve.
“They keep our communities safe from danger and make great sacrifices to do so.
“Being a police officer is more than just a job.
“It is a path that many could not walk, and we should feel proud every single day.
“They are all normal people, doing extraordinary things in the name of justice.
“Some give up their lives in the line of duty to make sure men, women and children have a safer community to live and work in.
“But our fallen colleagues will always remain part of the police family and we will always remember them.
“It was a privilege to take part in the service on Sunday.”
Visitors to the event were greeted by a guard of honour formed by representatives from each force in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and uniformed police officers from overseas forces.
There was silence in the auditorium as green, blue, and red petals of remembrance descended from the gallery before the Last Post was sounded.
National Police Chaplain, Reverend Canon David Wilbraham MBE led the service. He said: “National Police Memorial Day exists to pay tribute to the brave men and women who gave us their all; long may we remember them and their sacrifice.”
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “It’s a day to remember those colleagues we have lost and to ensure they are never forgotten. Policing is a family, and when we lose a member of our family the pain is felt far and wide.
“The National Memorial Day is a time to reflect, pay tribute and remember. It is so important, especially to the families, friends and colleagues of those we have lost, that their loved ones will never be forgotten.”
Around 5,000 police officers have died while on duty in the past 180 years. National Police Memorial Day services have been held all over the United Kingdom to reflect the national contribution made by the police.
The day is recognised by government and royalty as an official national day