Thousands of police officers were in Ottawa Sunday for the 35th annual Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Parliament Hill.

They came from all over Canada, and even some from the United States and the United Kingdom, to honour those who have died while on duty.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews called police the heroes of our time, who perform difficult and sometimes dangerous work.

According to a statement issued by the Ottawa Police Service, 14 police officers have died while on the job since 1928 in the Ottawa region.

The first memorial service was organized in 1978 to mark the death of Const. David Kirkwood who was killed in a three-hour shootout with a man Ottawa police were trying to arrest the year before.

"This memorial gives us an opportunity to express appreciation for the police and peace officers who have died in service to the communities they keep safe," said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.

"These officers and their families will never be forgotten," Bordeleau said.

Jim Chu, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said all officers hope that no one will be added to the list of officers who have died on duty.

That was an unfulfilled wish this last year.

The name of Const. Vincent Roy of the Bromont, Que. Police Service was etched in a glass panel that stands at the Memorial Pavilion in Ottawa.

Roy was struck and killed while handing out a ticket to a motorist during a routine traffic stop on December 1, 2011 about 100 kilometres east of Montreal.

More than 820 officers now have their names on the glass panel.

With files from The Canadian Press