SAN DIEGO - Correctional officers endure a dangerous and stressful job; never knowing if they'll return to their families as they protect society.
On Wednesday, the fallen correctional officers were honored in a sober but important memorial service at the Ernestine Glossbrenner Unit's 19th annual Memorial Service.
The names of fallen correctional officers who have passed in the line of duty were read and white doves were released in the honor.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 73 Correctional Officers died since the start of keeping track in the 1800's.
Every branch of law enforcement were acknowledged for the work done. The ceremony started with the presentation of colors by the Scouts of America and a prayer.
During the ceremony the prison honored Ronald Hall. Hall was an officer at the prison who passed away on February 17.
The Missing Officer Table Toast was done as the importance of the Missing Officer Table was read. A small set up was placed next to the podium. The set up was made up of a small round table, which symbolized the everlasting concern for missing loved ones, a white table cloth which symbolized the purity of the officers' motives while answering the call of duty, a sword to symbolize honor, a single red rose displayed in a vase to remind us of the life each of these missing loved ones and friends of these correctional staff who keep the faith, a vase tied with a yellow ribbon to symbolize the continued determination to remember and “take care of our own,” a slice of lemon to remind us of the bitter fate of those killed or crippled while protecting society, a pinch of salt to symbolize the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers, the Bible to represent the strength gained through faith to sustain those who continue on, an inverted glass to symbolize the inability to share this day's toast and an empty chair for those that are missing.
White doves were released at the ceremony and the 21 Gun Salute was performed by the Department of Pubic Safety Honor Guard. Taps were played and a cannon was fired.