PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Families of fallen Philadelphia police officers and firefighters gathered to remember the sacrifices of their loved ones Wednesday during the annual Living Flame Memorial Service in Franklin Square.

There was a police rifle salute for fallen comrades, and the sounding of the final bell.

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Wreaths were placed and family members laid red or white carnations on the monuments bearing the names of their loved ones.

Fifty-five-year-old Police Officer Walter DeWitt III, a 33-year, decorated veteran of the force – who died last year after surgery to correct complications from shoulder injuries he suffered in a 1995 accident with a police car, was added this year.

“To get the phone call from my mom telling me my dad is in ICU after I said, ‘Bye dad, love you’ at six o’clock the past evening really hit me hard,” said his son, 18-year-old Walter DeWitt IV.

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Mayor Jim Kenney presided over the ceremonies for the first time as mayor.

“The number of lives – the loss of our brave people – have caused such change in so many lives,” Kenney said.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross also addressed the families of the fallen.

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“I pray that God gives you the strength and that he places a hedge of protection around each and every one of you to get through those tough days that you undoubtedly must have,” Ross said.