RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake Tech honored law enforcement in the Triangle area on Tuesday with an event that highlighted how every day people put their lives on the line for the good of the community.

‘Thank a Hero’ was held Tuesday morning by the college that featured a luncheon for first responders and a special dedication to a recently-fallen Knightdale police officer.

Ryan Hayworth lost his life on Oct. 17, and Wake Tech invited his father, Tim, a retired Zebulon Police Chief, to the unveiling of a dedication plaque. Ryan was also a graduate of Wake Tech.

“October 17th changed my life forever and there’s not a day that goes by, and for as long as I live, there’s not a day that goes by that I won’t miss Ryan,” Tim Hayworth said.

Ryan Hayworth was a third-generation officer who was in training the morning he was struck by an oncoming car outside his police cruiser on the interstate when he was killed.

Ryan Hayworth dedicated his life to serving, first in the U.S. Army, followed by the North Carolina National Guard and more recently the Knightdale Police Department.

Tim Hayworth said while he is still mourning the loss of his son, he hoped today’s event reminds people to ‘live like Ryan’ and brings people in the community closer.