WASHINGTON - It has been an emotional couple of weeks for members of the Palm Springs Police Department and the families of fallen officers Jose "Gil" Vega and Lesley Zerebny. The duo were remembered at numerous events held in honor of National Police Week.
First, in Sacramento at the beginning of the month during a candlelight vigil and memorial ceremony where Chief Bryan Reyes called for stricter laws on repeat criminal offenders. Then again over the past few days in Washington, D.C., during a massive candlelight vigil and a memorial service where President Donald Trump reiterated a very similar sentiment.
The flag flew at half staff outside the nation's Capitol Monday morning, in memorial of the 143 officers who fell in the line of duty in 2016.
"It's a great honor to address America's heroes on this most solemn occasion," Trump said during a speech at the 36th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service.
Baby Cora Zerebny and 7-year-old Vanessa Vega were in attendance, alongside a large presence of local law enforcement officers, including members of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the PSPD.
"The countless number of people affected by the senseless tragedies is very emotional," said Officer Joe Cook, president of the Palm Springs Police Officers' Association.
A few Palm Springs police officers were designated escorts for families of fallen New York Police Department heroes who died from illnesses sustained while working at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
"I'm not sure what it's going to take for these type of ceremonies to end but I can just hope and pray that that some day it will be less and less and we won't have to see this fallen heroes families going through this," Cook said.
During his speech, Trump condemned attacks on police, vowed to protect those who serve and pledged to help.
"The attacks on our police are a stain on the very fabric of our society, and we will protect you. That I can tell you. And we will say enough is enough.The attacks on our police must end, and they must end right now," he said.
Before the service, he signed a proclamation urging the Department of Justice to develop a strategy to better prevent and prosecute crimes of violence against law enforcement officers.
Riverside County will hold a memorial service on May 22 at 5:45 p.m. in front of the Riverside Police Department. Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 for continuing coverage.