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Boston police officers remembered in annual ceremony


“The danger that police officers face is real, and we need to continue to stand together and support one another.”

Members of the Boston Police Department lower their heads during a moment of silence as the Boston Police Relief Association held their annual Memorial Day Service at the Boston Police Memorial at BPD Headquarters. Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

On a hot Sunday morning in Mount Hope Cemetery, Boston police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long looked over a gathering of families of current and former officers and acknowledged how difficult it is to grieve lost loved ones. He encouraged people at the annual memorial service to focus on remembering and celebrating the lives of their family members and colleagues.

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“It’s never easy and it’s often painful, but I’m going to ask you today, to not look upon this as a sorrowful event,” Long said. “I want you to look upon this as an opportunity to celebrate your loved ones’ lives. Celebrate the bravery, the courage, the compassion that they showed every time [they] put on a uniform. Celebrate what they meant to their families, celebrate what they meant to this department, and celebrate what they meant to the city every time they went out on the street.”

The Boston Police Relief Association Memorial Day Service, typically held every spring, was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s reading of the roll included 120 Boston police officers, most of whom were retired, who have died since May 2019. “These men and women are an essential part of the Boston police family. Each of their losses has been felt deeply across our ranks,” said Sergeant Daniel MacDonald, president of the Boston Police Relief Association.

Boston police officers remembered in annual ceremony 1
People prayed during the Boston Police Relief Association’s annual Memorial Day Service. – Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff
Boston police officers remembered in annual ceremony 2
Boston police superintendent in chief Gregory Long speaks during the annual Memorial Day Service at the Boston Police Memorial. – Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff
Boston police officers remembered in annual ceremony 3
A woman wears a shirt in memory of Boston police Officer Jose Fontanez, who died of COVID-19. – Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

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