LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The names were called one by one: officers, firefighters - those who worked to keep others safe and died in the line of duty.
"It's indescribable," New Castle Police Lt. Adriane Darling told WAVE 3 News. "These families are going through such a trying time."
This night was the first time a candle was lit for Louisville's Officer Nick Rodman. He was killed almost one year ago while chasing a suspect.
"Last year, we honored 9 to 10 officers. Today we have 21, just last year alone," Henry County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Blake said.
The Supporting Heroes event was on the same day that Officer Gregory Casillas died after a standoff in California.
Casillas has now become part of an alarming spike in officers shot and killed in the line of duty. There have been 17 so far this year.That's nearly triple the number for the same time in 2017.
"Certainly to an extent, the job has become more dangerous," Darling said. "There's a lack of respect for law enforcement that didn't exist 30 years ago."
It's called police legitimacy, and it's at an all time low. New national studies also show more officers believe their jobs have become more dangerous.
On Saturday, the reading of each name came with the somber reality of the sacrifice some have made to keep others safe.
"The things that we do are still very important, and useful to the community that we serve," Henry County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Bradley said.