Every day there is a chance, someone will have to their life for our safety. And sometimes they pay the ultimate price for all of us. East Texas law enforcement officers and many of their families gathered in Tyler's downtown square on Monday to remember and honor those who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Across the nation, the names of those fallen heroes are read aloud to keep them with us. Fourteen of these names are from Smith County.
Christy Carty-Mauk will always have one especially close to her heart.
Trooper Jimmy Ray Carty Jr. was the father of her children. He lost his life during DPS training after serving as a Smith County deputy for several years.
"He was an awesome man; he was someone that everybody loved. He was a gentle giant," recalled Carty-Mauk. "He had respect from the people he was taking to jail. You know, they still respected him because he was kind. He respected them even underneath the circumstances. He was just a kind man and a loving father."
Fourteen roses were placed at the base of the Smith County Peace Officer's Memorial.
Sadly, in 2012 Texas had more line-of-duty deaths than any other state, having lost 11 officers.
Honor Guards with Department of Public Safety, Tyler police, Lindale police and the Smith County Sheriff's departments conducted the service.
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