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Fallen Alberta officers receive tribute in Edmonton Sunday

A sombre ceremony was held Sunday outside the Alberta legislature to honour the province's police and peace officers who were killed in the line of duty.

After what has been a deadly year for law enforcement in Canada, 11 names were added to the national list of fallen officers. Three of them were from Alberta.

"It’s gut wrenching," said Edmonton Police Service Chief Dale McFee. "We have to do whatever we can do to stop those names from being added."

In March, EPS Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan were killed while responding to a domestic violence call.

RCMP officer Harvinder Singh Dhami was killed a month later in a crash while answering a call for backup from another officer Strathcona County.

All three men were in their 30s when they died. Sunday, their peers marched through the streets of Edmonton in recognition of their lives.

A moment of silence was taken for them, and more than 100 other members of law enforcement in Alberta who have died on the job since 1876.

"It's the least we can do," McFee said. "We owe it to our brothers and sisters that have fallen and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"It's one of those days – I think I could just say it's extremely humbling, but it's also extremely gratifying to see the amount of community support."

McFee said Sunday is as much about the families of the fallen officers. Loved ones from past and present years were thanked for their sacrifice and given roses to lay on a wreath.

"[It's] very emotional, meeting the family and speaking with the family of the fallen officers," said Mike Ellis, Alberta minister of safety and emergency services.

"I have nothing but immense gratitude and respect for those family members who sacrifice what they sacrifice each and every day to have those loved ones go out and to protect all of us," Ellis said.

As a former member of the Calgary Police Service, Ellis said the ceremony hit close to home.

'I was a police officer for 12 years," Ellis said. "I took it for granted the going out every night, protecting the community and not realizing that I might not come home at the end of the night."

The National Police Officers' Memorial Day falls each year on the last Sunday of September. Similar events were held across Canada to mark the day. 

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