YBOR CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office hosted its annual memorial service Wednesday night for the 17 deputies who have died in the line of duty.

Michael Hutchinson has attended the service since his grandfather Aux. Sgt. Lee Andrew Hutchinson died after a motor vehicle accident en route to an emergency call in 1970.

“He wishes he would have gotten into the sheriff’s office earlier,“ Hutchinson said. “He loved doing it. He loved putting on that uniform.”

Hutchinson and 16 other deputies are forever honored with their names etched on the memorial outside the HCSO Operations Center.

“And I pray to God that no one else is ever added to this list,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said during his speech.

Each year the ceremony features the reading of every name on the fallen deputy memorial wall.

“As a society, we are only as strong as the courageous people willing to make a commitment and sacrifice to protect us,” said guest speaker Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court.

Sheriff Chronister finished his remarks with a message for the families gathered to remember their loved ones.

“May God continue to comfort the ones our heroes left behind and continue to shower with love and protection their brothers and sisters who remain on watch,” the sheriff said.