The 23 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in Madison County since the year 1880 were honored Wednesday night.
A 21-gun salute rang out in downtown Huntsville to honor the fallen officers. It hit home for all of the families there, but for Keith Earle's family the wound of his loss is still hard to handle.
Earle was the last officer to lose his life in Madison County. He died just over a year ago when he got into a head-on collision in his patrol car.
His mom always knew something like that was a possibility, "Once he left, I didn't know if he was going to return or not," said Anna Earle Olukoya.
Law Enforcement told WAAY 31 this event goes beyond simply remembering their lost brothers, "It wasn't only that they gave their life, but it's for everything they give before they gave their life to their community," said the President of the Fraternal Order of Police in Huntsville, Donny Shaw.
Earle's mom wants the community to remember all the good he brought to the area beyond simply protecting people, "He would buy the children bicycles, their first bicycle. He would see the children were in need of shoes; he would give the parents money to go buy shoes and stuff," said Anna Earle Olukoya.
This event helped the Earle family in their grieving process, "It gives us hope. It shows the appreciation that the community, the police department, and everybody is known for the recognition that they did," said Anna Earle Olukoya.
According to law enforcement, Officer Earle was 1 of 163 total officers killed in the line of duty in 2018.