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Name of fallen Phoenix police officer etched into national memorial

The annual vigil for officers killed in the line of duty, will be held virtually this year.

PHOENIX — One of the Valley's finest was honored all the way in Washington D.C. at the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial on Wednesday.

Fallen Officer Paul Rutherford, who died in the line of duty just over a year ago, was being honored for his sacrifice. It's a touching virtual vigil, an event that's been happening since 1991.

In our nation's capital, 307 officers were honored, including the 22-year veteran Rutherford who died in the line of duty trying to help victims of a car accident.

"Our hearts go out to their families, friends and co-workers of the fallen," Marcia Ferranto said.

On March 21st, 2019, Officer Rutherford, badge number 6-4-0-3 would answer his final call. His youngest son, Reese Rutherford struggled to come to grips with the loss of his dad the day of his funeral.

"He was my best friend, my protector and my counselor and my hero. He was the best son a father could ever ask for," Reese said.

Watch the full ceremony below:

Now, the name of the Maryvale Officer rests on a memorial in Washington D.C. with others who swore to protect and serve.

"From the state of Arizona, Paul Thomas Rutherford," officials announced.

It's not easy for fellow officers to reflect on those they've lost especially while on duty. Chief Jeri Williams weighed in right after the accident, on the heartache, felt by the force.

"During tragedy's like this we're broken, fact, our community's broken, we're broken, the public safety community like the fire department, broken and really mourning the loss," Chief Williams said.

That morning Officer Rutherford was called to a crash near 75th Avenue and Indian School. He ran to help then 17-year old Alma Pineda.

"I saw it, I saw the whole thing," she said.

Police say, another call came in across the street, Officer Rutherford responded, no knowing he was taking his final steps. A Ford Expedition accidentally hit him without warning.

"He stopped talking and the other officers came and gave him CPR," Pineda added.

His wife and two sons, as well as the entire Phoenix Police force and neighboring departments everywhere, continue to pay their respects.

"The names joining the 21,000 that are already engraved on the wall," Ferranto added.

"Dad we love you and miss you and know you're watching us right now and we know we'll see you again someday," Chris Rutherford said.

Even though, Officer Rutherford's end of watch March 21st, 2019, he will always be watched over both here in Arizona and across the country.

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