President Bush paid tribute Thursday to American police officers killed in the line of duty. He spoke at a memorial service held annually on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building.
On an overcast day, the president looked out at his audience of law enforcement officers from around the country. He praised their work, and mourned the loss of their slain colleagues.
"The death of a peace officer is a reminder that peace can be fragile and safety will always need defenders," he said.
He said the nation's policemen and women know that evil is real and is so evident in the acts of criminals and terrorists who live by violence, and prey on innocent victims.
"And law enforcement officers know that evil must always be opposed. Justice and order and safety in every kind are the achievements of bravery," he said.
Mr. Bush noted that not far from the Capitol dome sits the National Law Enforcement Memorial, which is inscribed with the names of those killed in the line of duty. He said 377 names are being added this year, including 148 police officers killed in 2002.