Police Memorial Week starts with candlelight service

By Erika Mahoney

April 28, 2013 Updated Apr 29, 2013 at 9:19 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Fallen heroes are remembered in the Southern Tier Sunday evening.

Dozens gathered at the Sarah Jane Memorial Methodist Church in Johnson City to honor the lives of fallen police officers.

The non-denominational service is the first of many events for the 31st Annual Police Memorial Week.

Candles, 35 to be exact, were lit by uniformed officers, each representing one officer lost in the line of duty.

"It's a way of remembering those that went ahead of them and lost their lives,"Paul Burnett, President of the Southern Tier Memorial Law Enforcement Association, said. "As you look at the older dates in the program, some of them may not have any family to remember them, so it's just a way to remember."

Police chaplains and clergy lead the service that is held annually.

The upcoming week includes a motorcade on Monday, a memorial breakfast on Tuesday, and a golf tournament Wednesday.

The memorial week ends on May 4.