Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter
As part of National Peace Officers Memorial Day, Garland high school students and city leaders paid respect to officers killed in the line of duty.
Garland held a special ceremony Tuesday for the city's three police officers killed in the line of duty.
The city honored Officers Gerald Walker, Michael Moore and Ronnie Lerma on Peace Officers Memorial Day. Students and city officials joined the Garland Police Department at the ceremony to pay tribute to the fallen heroes.
Walker was shot and killed in 1989 after stopping a man who had just killed several other people. Moore was fatally shot at least five times while responding to a bank robbery. Lerma was killed in 1998 after he was hit on his motorcycle.
"They work every day, and they risk their lives for our safety and, really, they're our heroes," Lakeview Centennial student Nick Foster said.
Prior to their deaths, each man spent more than a decade with the Garland Police Department -- Walker had been with the GPD for 32 years, Moore for 10 and Lerma for 11 years.
"The men and women of the Garland Police Department and nationwide -- they go out on a daily basis, and they put their lives on the line," Police Chief Mitch Bates said. "In addition that they that gave their lives, we remember their uniqueness, their personalities, their sense of humor. We remember their families and that's what brings us home today."
All three men were remembered to have worked tirelessly for years for a safer community.
"We support our officers and that we remember them and that they did something special and they do something special every day, and it's something that we can't take for granted or forget," said David Lanman, head of the Law Magnet Program at Lakeview Centennial High School.
Lakeview Centennial students organized the annual local memorial with Garland police. The students have taken the lead for the last five years.
"We commemorate the lives they gave, and the lives police officers here are willing to give for our safety. It's all in the name of our safety and our sake," Foster said.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week.