ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Police Department held its 35th-annual Memorial Mass for Deceased Members of the Law Enforcement Community at Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Albany. The mass honored 49 police officers who lost their lives in 2021.

Law enforcement agencies and families from across New York were in attendance. Evelyn Vera and her family drove from New York City to honor fallen NYPD Sergeant Nemesio Vera. In December 2020, Vera died from cancer caused by exposure at Ground Zero on Sept. 11. “Very touching… it’s a little hard. He passed away about a year and a half ago (December 3rd, 2020) and it’s been that long to finally sit there and honor him and other fallen police officers,” said Evelyn.

Family members of each officer placed a white rose on the altar to signify their sacrifice. One single red rose was placed on the altar for those who gave their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

After the mass, officers and elected officials marched to the State of New York Police Officers Memorial located on the Empire State Plaza. The names of the fallen officers will be inscribed on the memorial.