The blue ribbons outside Dallas Police Headquarters are faded and frayed. A tattered police flag still flaps in the wind. They reflect the time that has passed since one of the darkest days in the city’s history.

“I remember the first time they said, ‘Officer down,'” recalled dispatcher Abigail Irizarry. “I knew something was wrong.”

Irizarry and her son, 7-year-old Melquiades, attended the “Tribute 7/7” event Friday evening at Dallas City Hall.

“Because if you forget, it’s like you don’t care about them,” explained Melquiades. “So it’s kind of sad if you forget about them.”

Melquiades wore a full police uniform to pay his respects. He said he wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps and be a police officer one day.

“To protect the city and help a lot of people and help the citizens,” he said.

In the crowd in front of City Hall, 20-year-old Liza Viera handed out St. Michael medals to officers. She drove up to Dallas from Houston to attend the memorial.

“He’s the patron saint of law enforcement,” Viera explained.

She started giving them away last year after the shooting. She said she’s given away more than 22,000 in the last year.

“The violence has to stop,” Viera said.

Irizarry says it’s important to remember what happened every day, not just the anniversary.

“I think we need to remember so it doesn’t happen again,” she said.

SOURCE: Noelle Walker 
NBC 5 DFW

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