LYONS, Ill. (WLS) --They moved in without a sound. A motorcade of more than 50 agencies paraded toward Cook County's Police Memorial Ceremony Monday with lights flashing. Men and women in uniform walked shoulder to shoulder, ready to honor their brothers and sisters who are now buried in uniform.
"This year already, 34 officers have died," Pastor Joseph Mills III notes.
In this setting, the threats of a career patrolling the streets of Cook County are palpable.
"For all the officers out here, I put it in perspective very, very quickly," Pastor Mills says.
"Every day they walk out of their house, they don't know if they're coming back. You never know when you respond to a call as simple as a speeding ticket. You don't know who's in that car," says Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
More than 700 men and women - predecessors and colleagues of these Cook County officers - have died in the line of duty during the history of the department.
"Your family lives with that every single day," says Commissioner John Daley.
For the officers, this day is cathartic. Officers and families gathered on what will soon be sacred ground - the future site of the Cook County Peace Officers Memorial, a $1.5 million space dedicated to officers killed in the line of duty.
"It's a very specific design. It has kind like five walls, five arms of a star. Each of those areas point to a different part of the county and the fifth one points to the seat of the county, which is Chicago," says Edward Sajdak.
Until the memorial is erected, officers will continue to commemorate the lives of the fallen in Lyons on May 9.