Fallen Girard Police Officer Justin Leo’s name will now be forever engraved on the marble walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Niles Police Officer Jennifer Young ran in the National Police Week 5K over the weekend, alongside 30,000 other members of law enforcement, in honor of Justin.

That 5K marks the start of National Police Week in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Officer Young was one of them. She went with a group of other local officers to honor Leo.

Though she never met him personally, she said the night we lost him was a night no officer will ever forget.

“That was a powerful night. It’s a powerful thing for this Valley. I mean, it hits you when anyone is killed in the line of duty, but especially when it’s a few miles down the road. Your heart just goes out to everybody.”

Young was also working that night, as were so many other officers in the Youngstown area.

To honor their fallen brother in blue, a group of them decided to travel to D.C. and run in the National Police Week 5k.

“This year, about 2,700 people ran and it includes officers, family members, friends and the camaraderie is amazing. Even if you’re not a runner, you will run during that race,” Young said.

She said the most sentimental part of the race is at the finish line, which is also the entrance to the memorial. Young made a point to find Leo’s name.

“They already had all of the wreaths laid out,” she said. “There’s a lot of people leaving mementos on it at that time, so it gets a little quieter over there but the rest of the week, anywhere you go, there’s cruisers on every street of Washington.”

More than camaraderie, this 5k and memorial week also gives officers worldwide the chance to show the families, friends and loved ones of our fallen heroes that they’re not alone.

“Thirty thousand people come out and are there for them. It’s a big family,” Young said.

She had the black memorial band across her badge, much like departments do when an officer dies in the line of duty. Every year on May 15, departments around the world wear those bands to honor fallen heroes as part of National Police Officer Memorial Day.