President Obama, Vice President Biden and former President George W. Bush were in Dallas this afternoon to pay tribute to the five police officers killed during last week's ambush following a Black Lives Matter rally downtown.
Police officers from around the country travelled to Dallas for the memorial ceremony. Retired Sgt. Kevin Matthews from New York State described the memorial at DPD headquarters...it reminded him of the support for police after 9/11.
"I don't even think I can describe it. I took pictures. It just reminded me so much of New York City. It was just so moving. The people, the hugging," Matthews said.
Inside, the guests of honor: President Barack Obama and the First Lady, President George W. Bush, Vice President Biden. Also Congressman John Cornyn, senator Ted Cruz, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief David brown.
"Laura and I see members of law enforcement every day. We count them as our friends. And we know like for every other American that their courage is our protection and shield," said Bush. "Often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions."
President Obama applauded Dallas Police for saving more lives then we'll ever know during last week's ambush. And for being at the protest in the first place.
"Despite the fact that police conduct was the subject of the protest. Despite the fact that there must have been signs or slogans or chants of which they profoundly disagreed, these men and this department did their jobs like the professionals that they were," Obama said.
He said anyone who paints all police officers as biased and bigoted is undermining the same officers we depend on for our safety.
"As for those who use rhetoric suggesting harm to police even if they don't act on it themselves, well they not only make the jobs of police officers even more dangerous, they do a disservice to the very cause of justice they claim to promote." Obama said.
The President also recognized the pain Americans are going through, wondering if things will only get worse.
"I understand. I understand how Americans are feeling. But Dallas, I'm here to say we must reject such despair. I'm here to insist that we're not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America. I know how far we've come against impossible odds," Obama said.
DPD officer Diana Flores knew some of the officers killed last week. She appreciates the support and the memorial service...even though it was tough.
"It was a lot of emotion. You just try to keep your head up and know that they are in a better place," Flores said.