ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – An emotional ceremony to honor Minnesota’s fallen officers and their loved ones was held in St. Paul Saturday night.

Family members of officers killed in the line of duty gathered at the Peace Officers Memorial near the State Capitol grounds for the Blue Light Ceremony.

They each carried a blue-tipped white rose, a symbol of loss and sacrifice.

They are parents, wives, children and loved ones who come to honor the ones they lost too soon.

Brittany Schneider lost her 32-year-old husband Shawn, the father of their three kids.

“The Blue Light Ceremony is a time to honor those officers that never returned home at the end of their shift. I’m the wife of one of those men,” Schneider said. “The morning of Dec. 19, 2011, Shawn – the only officer on patrol – answered the call, the call that would take his life.”

The Lake City Police officer was shot and killed after saving a 17-year-old girl from her abusive boyfriend.

“My husband did not have to die,” she said.

As Schneider and the others paid tribute, there was a sense of deep pain, sadness, but also a strong sense of love.

They read the names of the fallen, and placed a luminary on a glowing blue line at the memorial.

The event was put on by COPS, Concerns of Police Officers organization.

A special mention was made of Officer Tom Decker of Cold Spring, a husband and father of three killed in Dec. 2012.