GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Lt. Rob Curry died seven years ago in a tragic motorcycle accident while on duty with the Gulfport Police Department.
But his brothers in law enforcement are determined to keep his memory alive, as they did Saturday with the fourth annual Ride for Rob.
More than 50 motorcyclists - civilian and police officers - gathered to celebrate his life with a 40-mile cruise through South Mississippi.
Curry, a motorcycle officer, died August 14, 2008, when a driver hit him on U.S. 49 while he was on duty.
This was the first time to participate for David Ervin of the Blue Knights in Picayune, a law enforcement motorcycle club.
"I'm very encouraged about the law enforcement motorcycle clubs coming out in his memory," he said. "And participating in this along with all the civilian riders that happen to appear."
Each year, the memorial ride becomes even more important as the distance of time can dilute the memory of Lt. Curry, who he was, and what he meant to family, friends and the law enforcement community.
Participation grows at least five percent each year, said organizer J.D. Barnes, Gulfport Police officer and president of the Saints of the Apocalypse motorcycle club.
"We do it for his widow and his kids," he said. "That's mainly why we're doing it. To kind of bring everybody together so she always knows that he's not forgotten and that his memory still lives on. And it's not going to be forgotten."
His daughter, Krysten Curry, was only 12 when he was killed.
"It's extremely tough when it comes around this time of the year anyway, just because it brings back everything that we relived seven years ago," she said. "But at the same time it's really nice to know that people still remember him and want to honor him and come out and ride in his memory. It's really nice. It kind of eases the pain a little bit."
Barnes said that part of Curry's legacy is his work above and beyond the call of duty in traffic enforcement and traffic safety throughout Gulfport. Because of that, part of the reason to have the memorial ride is bring awareness to motorcycle safety.
"He was such a friendly, charismatic guy," Barnes added. "He never met a stranger. He was just a good cop. A good friend to everybody he met."