Dallas Ceremony Honors the Five Officers Killed in July 7 Attacks

Dallas police paused Thursday to remember and reflect as the anniversary of one of the city's darkest days arrives.

Five police officers — including four Dallas Police Department officers and a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer — were ambushed and killed July 7, 2016, following a peaceful rally and march downtown against police violence.

The officers had been there to protect the protesters when they were killed.

It was the single deadliest day for law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

At the American Airlines Center on Thursday the city paid tribute and honored their memories, and honored the colleagues of the fallen officers whose bravery prevented even more tragedy.

In all, 100 officers were recognized — men and women in uniform who ran toward danger and uncertainty, risking their own lives to help protect others.

"Tonight we come to give honor and respect to those to laid down their life," said Interim Dallas Police Chief David Pughes.

One by one, the names of the fallen were called — Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Officer Michael Krol, Sgt. Michael Smith, Officer Patrick Zamarripa and Officer Brent Thompson — and the crowd stood in silence as their families accepted the Police Cross Award.

While their names were called, their presence was still felt and their sacrifice was not forgotten.

The honors were not just for the fallen, but for all the heroes of that night and the families and friends who support them.

Fourteen officers received the department's highest honor, the Medal of Honor, for their actions on July 7, 2016.

"For some reason God called us all together. God called us to be Dallas police officers, and I am extremely proud," Pughes said.

Thursday's event was closed to the public, but there will be a public memorial ceremony Friday evening at Dallas City Hall at 6:30 p.m.

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