SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A permanent memorial was unveiled in honor of officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law. Both men died in the line of duty one year ago. They were killed in a crash on Highway 99 while responding to a call.
It was a day of remembering and reflecting. While it was sad because it was the anniversary, many family members and officers said they felt the dedication was a fitting way to keep the officers memory alive.
With a backdrop of the highway where Brian Law and Juan Gonzalez patrolled, and then lost their lives -- several hundred gathered to dedicate highway signs honoring the officers who were responding to a call for help.
Moments before the families officially unveiled the sign, Brian Law's father spontaneously addressed the crowd. He compared his feelings to a reference in the bible after Jesus was baptized.
Brian Law's father, Dennis Law, said, "Right now, I just want to echo, that this is my son, in whom I am well pleased."
A standing ovation followed. The hour-long dedication was filled with memories and gestures of honor. The commissioner of the California Highway Patrol shared a letter written by Brian Law's widow, Rebecca.
CHP Commissioner, Joe Farrow, said, "You are in the eyes of your daughter, the calm and empathetic demeanor of your son, and you are the heart of your wife, me. Who will always love you."
Officers who worked alongside Law and Gonzalez said they think of them often.
Johnny Fisher with the California Highway Patrol said, "I know even for me personally, I can't get on the 99, no matter if I am traveling with family or if I am working and come to this area without taking a minute and actually thinking about it."
Retired CHP Commander Dave Paris hopes drivers who pass the signs will be cautious of their speed. And also remember those who were closest to the officers who wake up to this painful void each day.
"The families are the hardest hit," said Paris. "You think the highway patrol is hit, law enforcement is hit, but the families are the ones that are the most impacted, because they gave their life and career to the state, and the families suffer that great loss."
Freeway 99 near Selma dedicated to two fallen CHP officers
Watch the video for extended coverage from Action News reporter Sontaya Rose.
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