LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In the last year, 143 police officers died in the line of duty across the nation, so officers began Friday walking one mile in honor of each fallen hero.

About a dozen officers began the trek Friday that will land them in Frankfort on Saturday evening. One of the participants, off-duty Bowling Green Police officer Sgt. Shawn Helbig said it's an important mission.

"These are officers that get killed in the line of duty," he said. "They are just doing nothing more than protecting their community."

During the two day walk, the officers are wearing shirts with the names of the fallen heroes.

"We wear these shirts during the specific mile for that officer," Helbig said. "They did something that other people weren't willing to stand up and do, and that's what we're trying to bring attention to." 

One of the officers being honored is Louisville Metro Police Officer Nick Rodman, who died in the line of duty in March of this year

"We are saving that shirt for one of the Louisville officers to wear during the mile that they're going to walk," Helbig said.

At the end of the journey, the shirts will be washed and sent to the families of the fallen officers. 

The remembrance walks started three years ago and always has the same destination: the police memorial at the old Capitol grounds in Frankfort. The starting point depends on the number of officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, putting this year's starting line about three miles east of Beaver Dam.

Along the way, the support of strangers helps fuel every step.

"They'll come out of diners and gas stations ... and they'll just cheer us and start clapping," Helbig said.

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