A remembrance ceremony at the Palm Springs Police Department Monday honored the memories of officers Jose “Gil” Vega and Leslie Zerebny two years after they were killed in the line of duty.
For fellow officers, the wounds suffered from the loss of Vega and Zerebny are still fresh.
“Unlike larger agencies, we all work together. Often times I would work with Gil two, three days a week, Leslie shared a cubicle right next to mine, so we’re very close to them and it’s not easy. You feel the absence,” said Sgt. Michael Casavan of the Palm Springs Police Department.
The remembrance ceremony was held in front of family, friends and colleagues of Vega and Zerebny, attended also by hundreds of Coachella Valley residents who remember very well that fateful day.
“I was getting ready to go to church and that’s when I saw the two pictures on TV and when I saw Gil’s picture, I lost it,” said Palm Springs resident Frank Perio.
“These for of events unfortunately bring us together, but it shows that sort of village and community spirit that I think we got,” said Palm Springs resident Lee Wilson Jr.
Several speakers took to the podium to honor Vega and Zerebny, including Zerebny’s father and vega’s daughter.
“I hope we thanked you enough for all the scarifices you made, including the ultimate sacrifice that was your last,” said Vega’s daughter Gloria Vega.
For those who worked alongside them every day, October 8th is a day they will never forget, both personally and professionally.
“You’ll have that in the back of your head, there is no way you can’t. So you’re always trying to make the safest approach possible and never take anything for granted,” said Casavan.