DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - A memorial service in Durant Thursday night paid tribute to the 13 law enforcement officers from Bryan County who have been killed in the line of duty since 1894.
"It gives me chills and tears," said Shelley Russell, who attended the service.
"It brings home the sacrifices that were made for our safety and security," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Scott Hampton.
Like the sacrifice made by Russell's son, an OHP trooper who died in the line of duty.
"My son Trooper Nicholas Dees was killed on January 31, 2015," Russell said.
The 30-year-old was working a crash on the side of the highway that night when he was hit by a driver who was texting.
"I got the death knock on the door about 12:10 a.m. on February 1," Russell said.
Thursday Dees was one of the 13 Bryan County law enforcement officers remembered at the annual memorial service in Durant.
A tribute Russell calls bittersweet.
"He was such a godly man, a man of honor, he wore that brown shirt proudly," Russell said.
"I'm here because they're not," said Durant Police Lt. Chris Marcy.
Hampton said it's sobering to hear the officer's names read in the roll call, but it doesn't stop him from carrying on their legacies.
"It's just a calling," Hampton said.
Just like it was for the 13 heroes honored Thursday night.
"Every time I see a brown shirt I think of Nicholas," Russell said.