Fallen officers awarded Purple Hearts for their courage in the line of duty

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Two law enforcement families gathered Thursday at the Law Enforcement Memorial to remember two of the officers that fell in the line of duty.

Sergeant Derek Johnson of the Draper City Police Department was shot and killed on September 1, 2013.

Sergeant Cory Wride of the Utah County Sheriffs Office was shot and killed on January 30, 2014.

Months apart the officers were killed in the same fashion. Both were unprepared for their final moments, both were fatally wounded in their squad cars.

“My brother and Sgt. Cory Wride are courageous for giving their lives for our community to be a little bit safer,” said Desirae Johnson, Derek’s sister.

“I was to the point where it was pretty final after the prelims and stuff. Seeing his car and things I felt like it was final but my biggest fear is that he will be forgotten. I don’t want people to forget,” said Widow Nannette Wride.

Hundreds gathered to carry on the legacy of the two men who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“There is a lot of stuff going on inside right now, just a lot of gratitude,” said Widow Shane Johnson.

The men in blue were each honored with purple hearts.

“Sgt. Derek Johnson and Sgt. Cory Wride will forever be proud that you are his brothers in blue, their community, family and friends that will take it from here,” said Johnson’s sister.

“The community is remembering in so many ways and they are honoring him in so many ways and I am so grateful, because that is what helps us heal,” says Wride. “We also need to remember the officers that are on the road now. They are heroes to and we should treat them like that.”

In all, 137 officers have given up there lives defending and protecting the State of Utah.

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