Dozens gathered in downtown Tyler for the annual Peace Officer Memorial, honoring the lives lost in the line of duty. Nineteen Texas officers were killed since May 2016. Fortunately, none were from Smith County.

Texas leads the nation in the amount of officers killed in the line of duty, according to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.

"My great, great, great uncle was killed in 1882 during a jail break, and I've heard this story all my life," said Cindy Grimes. "I have a lot of pride and heritage in Smith County.

Her family moved to Smith County in the mid 1800's. Although her uncle passed, for as long as she can remember, she's kept his legacy alive through word of mouth and attending the annual ceremony.

Lost lives were honored with a red rose.

Every year, Highway Patrol Lieutenant Cody Mitcham said this ceremony is bitter sweet.

"Jimmy was an outstanding person. Was a kind heart and would do anything for anybody. Give 'em the shirt off their back," he said. "To lose somebody like that, it just tears your heart apart."

Trooper Jimmy Ray Carty passed away from head injuries after serving Smith County for seven years. Carty and Mitcham went to high school together in Whitehouse.

The service included taps and a three-volley salute.

While the ceremony is an honor, Grimes hopes these officers are remembered every day.

"I'm very proud that I did lose a family member. That they stood for what was right, what is good and he was here to serve Smith County," Grimes said.